Girls’ Access to Education (GATE)

Project completed implementation in July 2021

This project aimed to support 11,010 marginalised girls and children with disabilities in five districts in Sierra Leone. In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the project worked at the individual, school, home, community and policy levels to ensure sustainable support to, and investment in, education.

The project aimed to enable greater access to school, improve learning results and support transition to further education and employment. It did this through study groups, training and support of female learning assistants, and training student teachers. It worked with community-based rehabilitation volunteers (CBRVs) to support children with disabilities. Bursaries and economic initiatives activities (e.g. village savings and loans associations and livelihoods grants) were used to support the sustainability of activities.

  • Established and resourced numeracy and literacy study groups for primary school and junior school students
  • Provided assistive devices for 300 disabled children
  • Supported 250 young women to become teachers through a distance learning programme in collaboration with Teacher Training Colleges
  • Trained and supported 141 CBRVs to support disabled children in the community
  • Supported 200 village savings and loans associations to help families with income generation for the benefit of educating their children, and trained 125 Village Agents to support VSLA sustainability and expansion
  • Undertook community awareness-raising for children, teachers and traditional leaders to promote girls’ education and inclusive education
  • Provided capacity building and Continuous Professional Development for teachers, Head Teachers and School Management Committees/Board of Governors
  • Renovated 11 schools to become ‘model schools’, enabling an inclusive school environment for children with disabilities

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the project also:

  • Developed learning resources to support remedial or accelerated learning
  • Developed Girls’ Clubs in primary schools, facilitated by female teachers
  • Expanded the number of beneficiary girls to provide direct support to more marginalised children
  • Provided social protection interventions which included food, dignity kits and school supplies to marginalised children and cash grants to VSLA groups
  • Developed Positive Parenting sessions to VSLA groups to support parents/caregivers in supporting children’s education/PSS needs
  • Trained staff, CBRVs, teachers and Head Teachers on psychological first aid and psychosocial support

Plan International: