Strategy for Borana Pastoralist Girls Education Programme
1. Project Profile
Name of the Project: Borana Pastoralist Girls Education Project
Project Location: Yabello and Dubbuluq towns in Borana Zone
Type of Beneficiaries: Borana pastoralist girls
Number of beneficiaries: 70 over the next 3 years
Funding Agency: To be identified
Executing Agency: Ethiopian Charities and Societies Agency
Implementing Agency: Borana Pastoralist Girls Education Association
2. Executive Summary
Background and Justification
Borana is one of the Administrative Zones of Oromiya National Regional State. Pastoralists and agro-pastoralists communities occupy nearly 85 percent out of the estimated land area of 50,000 km2. The proposed project is prepared to provide better learning opportunities for Borana pastoralist girls in Yabello, the Administrative capital of Borana Zone, and in the small town of Dubbuluq, some 30 km north of Megga, the administrative centre of Dirre Woreda.
Until recently, as pastoralists and agro-pastoralists the Borana have been a marginalized community group in terms of socio-economic development like all communities living in peripheral areas. The intended programme focuses mainly on the education of Borana pastoralist girls. Pastoralist girls have by and large been at a disadvantage in terms of formal educational opportunities. The situation for Borana pastoralist girls is not an exception. Very few school age girls are able to attend school. There are a number of reasons for such low enrollment. The main ones among others are cultural baize towards girls’ education, and the fear on the part of parents to send their female children to school due to the long distance between home and school. Although substantial progress has been made in the education of boys in Borana communities, girls’ education is still way behind. It is undeniable that a number of schools, mostly first cycle elementary schools have been built in recent years. Even if some girls have been enrolled in these schools, only a small fraction of them are able to proceed beyond the first cycle, since parents are first and foremost not willing to send their children, particularly girls, away from home. Second cycle schools ( grade 5 to 8 ) are also operational at fewer places. Here too, most female students are unable to continue their secondary education for the same reason. There are also economic reasons. For many families sending their children for schooling to distant places is an additional burden that they could not afford. According to the preliminary survey that has been carried out, the situation of pastoralist girls who are attending their high school education in Yabellow is very desperate. Away from home and their parents for the first time, and with meager financial means for food and lodging, many of them end up as drop outs. Because of this alarming situation very few pastoralist girls are able to go to higher learning institutions. The Borana Pastoralist Girls’ Education Programme is very keen to improve this scenario with the support of partners.
Ethiopia has a strategy to provide educational opportunities for all its Citizen. Special attention is given to girls’ education. In its currently developed Education Sector Development Program(ESDP-IV), it is clearly indicated that, under primary and secondary program, « the focus will be on the children who are still out of school, most of whom are in the emerging regions or belong to specific groups: the pastoralist, semi-pastoralist and indigenous groups, children with special needs and vulnerabilities. The activities that will be undertaken during ESDP IV can therefore be grouped into two sets: those aimed at a further expansion of access to primary education, and, those more specifically focused on equity and on decreasing the existing enrolment gaps between various groups….”
The Borana Pastoralist Girls Education Programme will surely make its modest contribution to the overall goal of the strategy.
The project will work closely with local government organizations and NGOs working in the area. The Association has already approached a local NGO that has been active in the area for the last four years.
Overall Objective of the Strategy
The overall objective of the programme strategy is to contribute to the efforts aimed at providing education opportunities for Borana pastoralist girls. Accordingly, the programme attempts to enhance pastoralist girls opportunity to attend and stay to complete their schooling.
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is working to expand quality basic education for all. Besides, the government has given special attention towards girls’ education, particularly the education of pastoralist girls, who have by far been the most disadvantaged. The programme’s objectives are in line with government policies, and it is believed that it will contribute towards the achievement of the same.