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2024 – Ghana

MLL: Empowering Girls with Digital Climate Education in Ghana’s Senior High Schools

Partner: CAMFED

Background :

In Ghana, similar to many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, children face significant barriers to education, especially those from rural, remote, and urban poor communities, as well as ethnic and linguistic minorities. These barriers, including gender and geographic factors, lead to inequalities in educational access. The digital revolution, while holding promise for bridging these gaps, has also widened disparities. Unequal access to online resources and digital skills further complicates the academic journey, particularly for adolescent girls who face distinct challenges in acquiring and using digital skills effectively. Additionally, the impact of climate change exacerbates these challenges, with extreme weather events disproportionately affecting children’s ability to attend school, especially girls. Despite these challenges, there is an opportunity for change. Research shows that education, particularly girls’ secondary education, can reduce vulnerability to weather-related disasters and extreme weather events. Initiatives that address digital education, girls’ education, gender equality, and climate education can empower girls as agents of change, addressing underlying inequalities and increasing vulnerability to climate change.

Project objectives :

The project will directly address interconnected barriers to education and climate justice in Ghana, especially in the rural parts of the country where CAMFED already has extensive partnerships with government schools. The Mobile Learning Lab (MLL) will bridge these gaps by delivering offline climate education that aligns with Ghana’s revised national curriculum. By targeting girls in communities prone to the effects of climate change for the project, we will empower them with knowledge for adaptation and resilience, directly addressing the disruption climate events cause to girls’ education in their communities.

In collaboration with Ghana Education Service (GES) and Centre for National Distance Learning and Open Schooling (CENDLOS), CAMFED will seize the opportunity to foster essential digital and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) skills crucial for climate action, and promote climate change awareness, climate adaptation, and sustainability education among vulnerable senior high school girls in rural areas. Equipping girls with these skills will enable them to become innovation and climate leaders within their communities. Through this partnership, CAMFED gains access to CENDLOS’s accredited curriculum content for both STEM subjects and climate education, ensuring the availability of both sets of content on the Rachel Plus servers.

CAMFED’s Learner Guides, who are young women members of the CAMFED Association and well-known at their local schools and communities, will serve as co-facilitators and mentors in the project, working collaboratively with teachers in the schools.

The project will benefit between 2,500 and 3,000 students across eight CAMFED partner senior high schools. These schools are primarily girls-only or have a majority of female students. CAMFED will prioritize rural and disadvantaged areas where CAMFED has existing programs or relationships. This will ensure community buy-in whilst leveraging CAMFED’s established network of community structures, a core of the success of our programs over the years.

In the medium term, the project aims to increase students’ knowledge and understanding of climate change, positioning them as community champions for climate action. Concurrently, it will boost their confidence and proficiency in STEM and ICT through engaging MLL sessions, empowering them to address local issues effectively with technology.

In the long term, the project has the potential to create a multiplier effect, inspiring other girls and young women to embark on climate change mitigation initiatives, thereby fostering a widespread shift in attitudes and behaviors towards climate change. This transformation, coupled with enhanced educational outcomes in STEM and ICT, will open up new horizons for these girls, equipping them with the tools and knowledge necessary to thrive and potentially pursue “green” livelihoods.

CAMFED is deeply committed to the long-term sustainability of this project. As with past initiatives, they will foster community-level ownership by engaging stakeholders from the project’s inception. This approach will ensure buy-in at the community or district level, resulting in joint accountability. Moreover, training Learner Guides and teachers who serve as MLL facilitators will enable them to provide first-level support during implementation.

 

Why partner with CAMFED?

60 million girls has funded two past projects (2020 and 2022) with CAMFED implementing the MLL in rural high school in Ghana. These programs met with much success. This collaboration aligns perfectly with the objectives of providing climate change education and digital skills and inclusive education in underserved senior high schools in Ghana. This project will enable us to expand reach and impact. By building on the proven effectiveness of MLLs, CAMFED can strengthen their discussions regarding a possible scaling of the project with the Ghana Education Service and CENDLOS. Additionally, the partnership will enhance the skills of Learner Guides and teachers. Together, we can equip marginalized girls with the tools they need to create a sustainable future for themselves and their communities.