Girls have more opportunity than ever to be problem solvers and contribute to building a more safe and sustainable world for everybody. But girls still face multiple challenges related to gender and often have to reconcile their own dreams with expectations of what they should be. The government of Tanzania recognizes the right of children to universal primary and secondary education, a disproportionate number of girls does not complete primary education. The major obstacles to girls accessing education in Tanzania are child labor, prostitution, poverty and the fact that girls who fall pregnant are generally expelled from school.
Young girls in Tanzania face a number of health and social challenges, and young people in rural parts of Tanzania particularly young girls have limited access to appropriate, quality and friendly health care services. These include sexual and reproductive health information and services that are difficult to access, and while 60% of young people have had sex before the age of 18 (UNICEF, 2011), only 6% used contraceptives.
Girls suffer a number of disadvantages compared to boys, subjected to many forms of violence including sexual violence, early marriage, pregnancy, house works and lack of sanitation facilities in most schools (DFID, 2016).Girls performances lower compared to boys as only 65% passed compared to 72%of boys in 2015 primary national exam, thus fewer make transition to secondary ( http://www.hrw.org/child- marriage-harms-girls ).
It is widely reported that education quality has fallen significantly in Tanzania partly due to increase in enrollment (URT, 2015);Pupils suffer from poor learning as also noted simply that ‘students are not being taught’; taught an average of only 3.5 classes per day (Twaweza).
UNESCO reported that 1.7 million Tanzanian children are out of school of whom 841,000 were girls (a figure that amounts to 17%) of those enrolled (UNESCO, 2016);with high dropout rate of a third of all children in primary schools (UNESCO Global Monitoring report).
The international community has recognized that investing in youth and children is not only essential, but an obligation as outlined under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Other arguments related to economic and social issues have also been made in search of an answer to the broad question: To what extent do investments in young girls’ survival and well-being also contribute to poverty reduction, income equality and economic growth?
Alongside with these views on the importance of people and communities to aspire and invest in girls, these young girls are found in different groups-those in schools and outside the school. There is a need for increasingly creating civic awareness programs and advocate amongst the young girls who are at most risk if they are not well informed and get inspired to move forward to achieving their dreams as full growing individuals.
Finally, young girls as an age group with a lot of potentials, we believe that these important forums and civic awareness dialogues for young girls in both primary and secondary school will provide a wider perspectives and engagements on issues that pertain their life careers as individuals and as the community at large.
With reference to the existing reports in Tanzania on the situation of young girls in the education sector; “the citizens education report for Tanzania: a case study of Kilwa and Singida” which was done by TenMet in 2017,it is vividly shows that young girls in schools are faced with several challenges that delineate them form pursuing their studies comfortably. Despite the greater efforts and detrimental initiatives taken by the government to empower young girls in schools and brings about gender equality, still there’s a widening gap that needs to be addressed to rescue young girls status from many challenges. The existing policy gap, controversial perceptions about young girls, discrimination statements from the government leaders, poor budget allocation to empower girls on different sectors particularly education sector are the major areas that need to be addressed and take appropriate measures to impact young girl’s life.
This project is basically seek to reduce the number of girl’s school dropout by advocating girl’s rights in education sector in Lindi , Pwani, Dodoma and Singida areas. By deeply understanding on the inner causes of what cause girl’s school dropout, participatory approach, interviews and questionnaire is a bit significantly during the first phase of the feasibility study. Dialogue with the marginalized young girls in schools will help to increment self-awareness and self-realizations towards their rights and responsibilities in the community.
However, meeting with the MPs and other like-minded stakeholders will influence policy change and increasing status of the young girls in the education sector in Tanzania. At the end of the project we will be able to understand the contributing variables towards young girls’ schools dropout and harmonize the situation.