|Organization Name:||The Wellspring Foundation for Education|
|Project Title:||Addressing Chronic School Drop Out through Community Based Partnerships Project (Rubavu, Rwanda)|
|Purpose of Investment:||To hire and train four community workers to implement Wellspring’s strategy for reducing student dropout rates in Rubavu District, Rwanda.|
Wellspring is currently working in partnership with the District of Rubavu, on the border of the DRC, to improve the quality of education for more than 90,000 girls and boys within a safe and secure learning environment through our holistic School Development Program (SDP). SDP seeks to build the capacity and understanding of teachers, parents, and those involved in the leadership of all 75 government funded schools. One of the key challenges that we have been invited to address are the high levels of student drop out and absenteeism. Due to a complex range of issues, many children are not in school and missing out on a quality education that could help them reach their God-given potential.
This project will involve:
– Completing on-the-job training for a newly recruited Community Involvement Trainer (CIT), thereby doubling the frequency with which our teams can visit and engage with the parent committees and local community leaders in all 75 schools. This will help to address attitudes amongst parents to education; explore and identify home-grown approaches to bringing children back to schools that could be modelled elsewhere; and help Wellspring advise the district authorities on ways to communicate on dropout with local communities.
– Facilitating a series of focus group discussions and consultative meetings with a range of key stakeholders to help the district overall to address the issues of dropout and absenteeism from within;
– Working with school leaders to develop effective systems and tools to collect and monitor much more accurate data on dropout and absenteeism;
– Tackling one of the root causes of dropout at primary level which is limited or non-existent pre-primary education. Our approach is to incorporate more focused support for pre-primary teachers within the district into our existing SDP.
Although these activities will be part of our ongoing 5-year partnership with Rubavu District from 2017 to 2022, the timeline will be over 12 months (though the ultimate impact, we believe, will be evident beyond 12 months). A $78,125 ST grant will cover the costs of our CI Trainers with expertise in early childhood education and the costs for a series of consultative meetings with key stakeholders.
Ultimately, we seek to work in partnership with Rubavu District to significantly reduce the absenteeism and dropout numbers. This will involve finding innovative, homegrown and sustainable approaches within school communities, and collecting more accurate data to allow for better informed decisions and targeted interventions. The official data on the numbers of children out of school in Rubavu District is currently inaccurate, hence the need for our interventions.
- Within 6 months, a newly recruited Community Involvement (CI) Trainer will have received on the job training to allow our current cohort of 3 CI Trainers to visit and engage twice as often with the parent committees and school communities of all 75 schools in Rubavu District.
- Within 9 months, facilitate 10 focus group discussions and consultative meetings with key stakeholders to identify: (i) effective systems for use in schools to collect and monitor accurate, meaningful data on dropout and absenteeism, and (ii) home-grown, innovative approaches to bringing girls and boys back into schools. Our aim is to reduce dropout by 20% in primary grades 4 to 6 by 2022.
- Within 12 months, 50% of schools in Rubavu District will be implementing an innovative, home-grown approach to bring girls and boys back into schools. This will impact an overall primary school population of 45,000 by the end of 2020 and the entire district primary school population of more than 90,000 by 2022.
*Content provided by Wellspring Foundation for Education