THE SMT PROGRAM:
As the leading organization promoting female education in Sub-Saharan Africa, since 1996, FAWE has implemented a program to improve girls' participation and performance in SMT at primary and secondary levels. The program started with a baseline study of the status of girls' access to SMT subjects and the constraints they face in performing well in those subjects. FAWE lauched pilot programs in 12 countries through a series of interventions which have now been packaged as the FAWE Gender-Responsive SMT Model. FAWE is working towards facilitating the scaling up of this SMT model at four (4) levels:
Replicating the FAWE Gender-Responsive SMT pilot program in the remaining 20 of FAWE's 32 national chapters.
Advocating within Ministries of Education in 32 countries for mainstreaming the FAWE approach into national education systems.
Providing training and technical assistance to government ministries to implement the program widely at the national level.
Monitoring, documenting, and evaluating the effectiveness of the program in improving participation and performance of girls in SMT in Africa.
Between 2008 and 2012, the implementation of the FAWE Gender-Responsive SMT model will continue in two parallel streams among its 32 national chapters: 1) Introducing the SMT Best Practice model to 20 national chapters not included in the first phase; 2) advancing the SMT program in the 12 national chapters that participated in the pilot phase. Both streams will include equipping the SMT program schools with computer labs (average of four labs of 10 desktops each per country).
Created in 1992, FAWE is a non-governmental organization that promotes the participation of girls in education in sub-Saharan Africa with a view to bridging the existing gender gap. The result is a well-informed, well-planned, and well-managed package of interventions that FAWE is piloting in countries in SSA. The FAWE SMT model covers the following areas of interventions: Enabling increased access to SMT subjects for girls, changing the attitudes of girls towards SMT subjects, improving academic performance and confidence of girls in SMT, improving the learning environment by making teachers and teaching methodologies gender-responsive, providing gender-responsive teaching and learning materials in SMT for girls, improving attitudes of teachers to increase girls' participation in SMT, improving the attitude of parents towards their daughters participation in SMT subjects through advocacy.
MILESTONES AND KEY ACTIONS DURING 2008-2012
Implementing the Gender-Responsive SMT model in 20 countries where FAWE has national chapters:
- Hire a core group of 5 people in each of the 20 countries to conducting baselines studies on the status of SMT and girls' participation in these subjects: Jan-August 2008
- Hold national seminars in each country to share the results of the baselines studies and draw action plans for interventions: September -December 2008
- Train a core group of trainers from each country in FAWE's Gender-Responsive SMT model: January-May 2009
- Set up 80 computer labs in the new FAWE SMT program schools: March-May 2009
- Implement Gender-Responsive SMT program: June 2009-Dec 2012
- Monitor, document and evaluate program implementation and impact: Jan 2010-Dec 2012
Advocate for integration of interventions into national education systems so as to benefit a wide population: Jan 2009 onward.
Strengthening and mainstreaming the FAWE SMT program in 12 countries reached in pilot phase:
- Continue to document the interventions and the process of implementation including impact assessments and outcomes: Jan 2008 onward
- Collaborate with teacher training colleges to integrate Gender Responsive Pedagogy in SMT in their curricula: Jan 2008-Dec 2009
- Set up 48 computer labs in the existing FAWE SMT program schools: March-May 2008
- Continue to advocate for integration of the interventions into national education systems so as to benefit a wider population: Jan 2008 - Dec 2012
- Form coalitions and networks with like-minded organizations to advocate and participate in translation of policy into action in the respective countries: From Jan 20078 onward. Examples of such organizations are Computers for Schools Organization, Strengthening Mathematics and Sciences in Secondary Education, Women in Science and Technology in Africa Network, The African Forum for Children's Literacy in Science and Technology, African Academy of Sciences.
Continue to monitor, document and evaluate program implementation and impact: Jan 2008-Dec 2012.
Forum for Africa Women Educationalists (FAWE) conducts various activities that enable the organization's advance in the championing of Girls and Women's right to education. Recently, the organization has been facing challenges in terms of availability of financial resources to continue with its activities. FAWE is therefore appealing to partners who will extend financial resources towards the promotion of the education of girls and women in Africa and especially in the area of Science, Mathematics, and Technology.