The Quebec Ministry of Education is proposing to allow four-year-old children from underprivileged families to attend elementary school full-time as part of a campaign to curb the province’s disturbingly high dropout rate.
More than one in three students in the province – 36 per cent – leave school without graduating. And studies showed that most of them come from poor families. For instance, a study conducted in 2008 by the Montreal Health and Social Services Agency concluded that 35 per cent of 5-year-old kindergarten students on the Island of Montreal were from needy families, showed signs of neglect and had learning disabilities that would likely impede their academic progress.
School officials in South Sudan say a monthly take-home food ration from the World Food Programme (WFP) has helped to reduce the number of female students dropping out of school.
The girls from grades 3-8 who are allowed by their parents to attend classes for at least 20 out of 22 days in a school calendar month receive a 9.9 kilograms of cereal and 3.6 kilograms of vegetable oil. The food serves as an incentive to the parents, who generally prefer to send boys to school, while girls stay home to work, help their families with cooking or are married off early in exchange for bride-price.
“We have witnessed a real increase in the number of girls that have enrolled and stayed in school since we started providing food through the (girls’) incentive,” says Lokang Augustine Okocha, the director of studies at Redeemed Generation Academy in Torit, the capital of Eastern Equatoria State.
While Toronto’s population grows, the country’s largest school board has watched its enrolment slide in recent years.
To address that problem, Dr. Christopher Spence, the former B.C. Lions running back and current activist director of education at the Toronto District School Board, stood in front of a classroom of 28 boys at a busy public school on Toronto’s western border and announced his latest plan to increase what he calls “engagement.”
In September, the TDSB will open nine new “elementary academies” inside existing board schools across the city, specializing in vocal music and health and sports, as well as a boys-only and a girls-only school.
NEW YORK (August 10, 2011)— With an estimated 1.8 million children between 5-17 years of age already out of school in southern and central Somalia, a rapid assessment conducted by the Education Cluster, in ten regions, warns this number could increase dramatically when schools open in September unless urgent action is taken.
The assessment, which was carried out last week, indicates that with the movement of an estimated 200,000 school-age children who have migrated to urban areas or across the border due to hunger, the gross primary school enrolment of 30% could plummet even further. This is likely to be compounded by an acute shortage of teachers and an increase in demand for education services in areas where influxes of internally displaced people have been the greatest, such as in Mogadishu.
Despite the government intervention to enable all pupils to access universal education, many schools in the rural areas are grappling with an ever-increasing enrollment.
In many schools, especially primary, the ratio of teachers to pupils is estimated at 1:70 compared to the required ratio of 1:40, depending on subjects taught.