The Academy targets child mothers and vulnerable girls of gender based violence, poverty and displacement including their babies and offers heavily subsidized care, education and training. The academy targets girls between the ages of 13-22 years of age through two avenues; the secondary school and the vocational training center. Through community outreach, girls are identified who can benefit from inclusion in the program via a process, which involves meeting with community leaders to explain criteria for selection (vulnerability, drop out related to poverty pregnancy or lack of family support). The committee then selects and proposes names of suitable candidates; their situations are verified via home visits made by staff. Those shortlisted then apply for enrollment as a formality and as a gesture of commitment on their part. Once the girls are accepted into the academy they undergo orientation and assessment to determine their capabilities and preference allowing for the girl to select whether she is interested in formal education at secondary level or vocational training.
The secondary school follows the government curriculum taught by government trained teachers, however the academy modified a government syllabus and developed an accelerated learning program administered to determine the level of educational support a girl may need upon enrollment. Remedial classes are also available as additional support and class size is 50 students per class. A girl may opt to pursue vocational training in either tailoring or catering for 9 months to a year at the end of which each girl is presented with a start up kit including tools and a cash grant. For those who are young mothers to children borne from abduction and captivity, their children are taken care of at the nursery school.
The nursery schools offer classes led by trained teachers. The children are aged between 1 and 5 years of age and mothers can schedule their education to enable them to breastfeed. During the evenings and the weekends, mothers spend time with their children who also receive health treatment. All instructional material is procured through fundraising while parents pay a small fee to cater for school fees and staff salaries. Social workers from the implementing organization CCF, also contribute to girls' development through classes on life skills, counseling, business education and encouragement to supplement their education and training. PGA currently also sponsor 15 girls at A-level and 5 for higher education.
Click here to see full program profile
CEI approaches in action
Selection criteria designed to prioritize those most in need and community meetings help identify the poorest in an already under-served community.
Supporting 15 students at A-level and 6 for higher education
89 children at the nursery
Pader Girls Academy was borne of the plight of child mothers in captivity from the war in Northern Uganda.It began as a training center for vocational skills and developed into a secondary school and day care.
In the future, the academy hope to expand to accept vulnerable girls from different parts of Uganda and not just Northern Uganda. The academy are also undertaking research to ascertain which skills are needed in the labor force and the opportunities for accreditation. A second academy is also being developed in Nwoya district to cater to more girls to open in late 2014.
Monitoring & Evaluation
The academy have an M&E officer who monitors outcomes through assessments, tracking of students for three months after they exit the program and comprehensive coverage of the syllabus.