In 2021, Commonwealth Alumni were invited to design and deliver a Girls’ Education themed community-focused activity to raise awareness around the importance of Girls’ Education within their chosen community and ways to advocate for and achieve access to education for girls.
In 2021-22, the CSC is running a series of activities linked to Girls’ Education as part of our Time Limited Programme (TLP). The TLP is a year-long programme of activities and events which have a particular focus. This year, the TLP is focused on promoting Girls’ Education as part of the UK government’s ambitious initiatives to get 40 million more girls from low and middle income countries into primary and secondary school by 2026 and improve learning levels, so that girls can achieve their full potential.
These activities include a Professional Fellowship programme focused on Girls’ Education, alongside a year-long engagement and communications strategy on this topic; alumni events held across the Commonwealth; and additional support being provided to the CSC’s ‘Access, Inclusion and Opportunity’ online Knowledge Hub.
In line with this theme, in 2021 and 2022 Commonwealth Alumni were also invited to design and deliver a Girls’ Education themed community-focused ACEF activity.
Girls’ Education ACEF Activities
You can read about the Girls’ Education themed ACEF activities delivered by Commonwealth Alumni below – as well as the impact these activities had on their chosen community.
In Ghana, there are several factors at play when it comes to young women’s participation in STEM professions, including gendered family norms, classroom dynamics, and the influence of policymaking which can simultaneously support and hinder access to STEM education.
Globally, women are significantly underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. In Nigeria, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) estimates that only 22% of graduates in STEM subjects are women.
Uganda has made significant progress in promoting girls’ education, most notably through the Universal Primary Education (UPE) policy. Despite these efforts, female literacy and school attendance remain low. According to the World Bank, in 2017 only 54% of primary school-aged girls in Uganda completed primary education.
Promoting skills development opportunities for internally displaced girls and young people in Cameroon
In December 2022 and January 2023, Commonwealth Alumnus Tabemonso Tabeagbor delivered a campaign to promote skills development opportunities for girls and young people in Limbe, Cameroon. The campaign aimed to raise awareness of vocational training opportunities for internally displaced girls aged between 5-17 years and vulnerable people aged between 18-35 years whose lives and education has been affected by the Anglophone Crisis in the Southwest region of Cameroon.
In March 2022, Commonwealth Alumni Irum Maqbool and Maham Nawaz organised a webinar on digital rights in Pakistan aimed at improving the awareness of secondary school girls’ rights to privacy and data protection when online. Following the webinar, they commissioned the production of an age-appropriate informational video to further raise awareness of the ways in which young people can stay safe online.
Commonwealth Alumnus Ricky Kalaluka is a trained teacher, forester, and agroforester. He is currently the Head of Programmes at the Centre for Environment Justice (CEJ) in Zambia. As part of his responsibilities, he is a Project Lead on the five-year project, Disability Inclusion Climate Action (DiCA), financed by the Dutch Government under the Power of Voices (PoV) framework. The project seeks to enhance the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in policies and actions to tackle climate change.
On 9 March 2022, a group of Commonwealth Alumni working at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, held a symposium for female public junior secondary school students from Makoko, an informal settlement in the Lagos coastal area. The symposium was titled ‘Her Dream, Her Future’ and was designed to promote the importance of girls’ education to those from low-income settings and highlight the opportunities available to girls who complete school education.
Commonwealth Alumnus Margaret Kamau collaborated with Our Lady Mercy Girls Secondary School in Makadara Sub County, Nairobi, Kenya to deliver a STEM mentorship camp. Margaret took a multi-activity approach to her ACEF activity, which included activities aimed at strengthening STEM education amongst both teachers and pupils at the school. The camp ended with a school-based science fair exhibition, funded through ACEF. Margaret is the Education Technical Lead in a Girls Education Challenge project with Education Development Trust.
On 9 March 2022, to mark International Women’s Day, Commonwealth Alumnus Sakhi Anita hosted an in-person and virtual event titled ‘Voice It Out’ in Nashik, India.