She Belongs in School – Supporting Access to Secondary Education in Mozambique
Partner: Save the Children
In northern Mozambique, girls’ access to school is affected by long distances to school. When girls start secondary school, the challenge becomes even more acute due to the lack of secondary facilities. In seven districts of this area, there are 1,030 primary schools – but only 30 secondary schools.
From 2017 to 2021, Save the Children (SC) has worked with the Government of Mozambique to design and implement a new distance learning approach that addressed the needs of students who do not have secondary schools in their communities. This model, Distance Learning Centre Type IIIs (DLC IIIs) provides a place for secondary school students to come together and learn within existing primary school facilities. With support from administrators, distance learning tutors distribute textbooks and workbooks, conduct guided study sessions, and facilitate self-study groups as they complete the courses needed to obtain their certificates. This model has proved successful, with 71% of students obtaining their lower secondary (ESG1) certificate.
The next step for these students is upper secondary (ESG2). Unfortunately, although the government does have a curriculum for distance learning for ESG2, it can only be accessed via a computer or tablet. DLC III students are likely to live in remote areas, have high rates of poverty, and do not have access to digital technology. This means that most DLC III students are still unable to access ESG2.
She Belongs in School – Supporting Access to Secondary Education (SBIS-SASE) is a part of Save the Children’s much larger project, She Belongs in School (SBIS), being funded by Global Affairs Canada (2021-2026). Our project will focus on young pregnant mothers, or girls who have experienced child, early and forced marriage. It will enable adolescent girls, aged approximately 16 to 19, living in communities within the districts of Memba, Érati and Nacarôa districts in Nampula Province, the opportunity to complete their upper secondary education.
The main goals of the program are to:
- Expand access to upper secondary education to girls in vulnerable situations;
- Increase student interest in self-directed learning;
- Improve learning outcomes;
- Increase decision-making power and leadership.
The project will combine two innovative and exciting approaches: the DLC III model and the Mobile Learning Lab (MLL). The DLC III intervention is an exciting innovation in Mozambique, and the SBIS-SASE will expand and test this model, as well as gather evidence on implementing DLC IIIs more effectively. In addition, SC’s field organization, Save the Children Mozambique, can use this evidence to advocate for the Government’s national scale-up of DLC Type III centres, which could expand access to secondary education for girls in rural Mozambique.
This program, in concert with the SBIS, will allow 150 girls each year, or 600 girls over 4 years, to have access to the Mobile Learning Labs in five schools. Study groups will meet together at least once per week (3 hours) and with tutors at least once per week (about 4 hours) to review material and share questions, concerns, and seek advice and instruction. MLLs will be used during these sessions, and learners will be able to access tablets whenever they want by making an individual study plan that fits with their schedule, and sharing this with the tutor and DLC III host school.
Why partner with Save the Children?
60 million girls partnered with Save the Children in Côte d’Ivoire in 2011. Since then, SC has remained an active partner and we have continued to work closely.
SC has worked in Mozambique since 1986 at the height of the Mozambican civil war. It began working with children and their families in some of the most marginalized communities affected by the conflict. Today, Save the Children Mozambique has a mixed development and humanitarian portfolio and its staff works in close partnership with government ministries at all levels. SC has a strong commitment to education and, in particular, girls’ education in Mozambique.