UNESCO Dar es Salaam office has successfully implemented a project to support adolescent girls and young mothers who dropped out of school due to teenage pregnancies and early marriages. The project was implemented in a total of 10 wards, 5 in Shinyanga Rural, 2 in Kahama town and 3 in Msalala district councils. The project was implemented from March 2012 to September 2015 and has benefited a total of 149 young mothers.
Regular mandatory pregnancy test for girls in secondary schools leads to expulsion of these girls at the early stages of pregnancy while readmission is hardly ever considered, especially in public schools. For these girls, it is therefore, not a question of dropping out, but of being forced out of the formal education system.
The program provided alternative learning opportunities to 220 young mothers, out of which 149 successfully graduated from the program. The training program focused on the following areas: -
- Vocational skills: Batik making (tie & dye), tailoring and needlework, cookery, poultry and beekeeping, soap making and vegetable crops production.
- Generic skills: Entrepreneurship, cross cutting issues (HIV/AIDS, Gender, and Environment), ethics and adolescent sexual and reproductive health.
As a result of the program, the Institute of Adult Education has established an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) center to accommodate the learning needs of the graduates. The ODL program will allow young mothers to reintergrate into the mainstream education system after two years, while the Shinyanga Regional Administrative Secretary has commited to continue supporting the program using districts own funds.
For further information on the project click on the links below: