Unicef: Gender gaps present in schools

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday, May 4, 2011

THERE are persistent gaps in the enrolment and retention of girls in schools here, United Nations Children’s Fund country representative Bertrand Desmoulins said.
Desmoulins said that continued to hamper efforts towards the achievement of education goals despite significant advances made in ensuring quality education in Papua New Guinea.
“The 2009 education data shows that boys have a net enrolment rate of 66% compared to 61% for girls,” he said.
“A gross enrolment rate of 82% for boys compared to 74% for girls and a gross completion rate of 59% for boys compared to 45% for girls,” Desmoulins said on Monday at the start of a week-long workshop addressing evidenced-based advocacy for gender mainstreaming in education.
The workshop, held at Port Moresby’s Ela Beach Hotel, attracted participants from around the country to discuss ways of bridging the gender gap and responding to gender mainstreaming in education.
Desmoulins said the challenges girls faced were more pronounced, not only globally, but specifically in PNG.
He stressed that investing in the education of girls’ was an effective route to ensuring long-term economic growth and sustainable social development. 
He said there was a pressing need for mechanisms to be established to allow the use of evidence to communicate policy reforms and actions around some of the identified issues.
“Looking ahead, it is my hope that an outcome of this forum is strengthened national capacity to effectively address gender equity in basic education at both national and sub-national levels,” Desmoulins said.
“Unicef, through hosting this workshop, is supporting national efforts to ensure that gender equity and equality in education are met through targeted, effective and sustainable capacity building programs.
“The purpose of the workshop is to provide support to the continued development of skills and experiences in education data for advocacy,” he said.