At Kaplan, we take being socially responsible as an organisation very seriously. We believe in the power of education, and educational institutions, to change the world for the better.
We believe that everyone, no matter who you are or where you were born, should have access to a good education. Every life transformed and improved through education contributes that little bit extra to transforming and improving the world.
In Senegal, there are many challenges that girls face when trying to get an education. Despite education being compulsory and free up to the age of 16, 60% of 5-14-year-olds don’t attend school. For girls, cultural pressures, early marriage and housework can often play a big role in keeping them away from the classroom.
Giving girls an equal opportunity to participate in education is hugely important. It’s the right thing to do, but it also makes economic sense, particularly in countries that are held back by poverty. Ensuring that girls get a good education means that a wider section of society can play a role in economic development.
Kaplan’s funding has helped Plan International to support 1,000 girls, aged 9-16, across 16 schools in Senegal in improving their education. This will have a big effect on 12,000 local community members, who will benefit from having a better educated younger generation with important skills and knowledge.
In Sierra Leone, girls often face a difficult road to a good education. Only a quarter of girls are still in education by the end of primary school, and those who do stay on can be discouraged by the male-dominated environment.
This is further confounded by a lack of female teachers, with only 16% and 8% of teachers being women in primary and secondary schools respectively. Female teachers can better connect with young girls, and serve as role models; pupils see in their teachers what is possible in their own lives.
With support from Kaplan, Plan International is working to give 483 young women in Sierra Leone the chance to become teachers. With preparation from the Forum of African Women Educationalists, they will receive training and gain classroom experience in an approach developed by the Open University.
Find out more about life as a female teacher in Sierra Leone by watching Mamie’s story.