The PAGES project targets pastoralist girls, a significant proportion of whom are out-of-school at the primary level, in the Afar region of Ethiopia. Providing access to quality education for this predominantly mobile population remains a priority for the Ethiopian government in its goal to achieve universal primary education by 2015.
The PAGES project is supporting the Afar Regional Education Bureau's efforts to increase access to quality and flexible education through the provision of Alternative Basic Education Centers. PAGES is a three year project, supported by the DFID Girls' Education Challenge (GEC), and aims to impact 18,500 girls' lives at the primary school level, both formal and informal.
The project seeks to increase access to education and retention within schooling through the following combination of interventions:
- Construction of 40 new Alternative Basic Education Centers, and the upgrading of 40 other existing schools (in some cases these centers will be mobile, in addition to the creation of mobile libraries transported by camels, to accommodate the mobile nature of pastoralist communities in Afar)
- Teacher training
- Development of learning materials in the local Afar language
- Provision of WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) facilities, including gender-segregated latrines
- Community awareness initiatives surrounding the importance of girls' education
- Providing access to alternative livelihood options
While still in its early stages, PAGES is investing heavily in child safe-guarding and ensuring that girls' voices are heard in the overall implementation strategies of the program.