Baseline Study of the Wasichana Project by Build Africa Kenya
A needs assessment conducted by project staff determined that girls in Kwale (Kenya) are significantly disadvantaged, entrenched in a cycle of poverty, and subject to daily discrimination and violence’. The consultation identified early marriage, early pregnancy, community and parental attitudes towards girl’s education, poverty, poor sexual and reproductive health education, violence and abuse, lack of female role models and poor teaching standards as significant barriers contributing to the low attainment of girls in schools.
In partnership with the Coalition on Violence against Women (COVAW) and the Kwale Welfare and Education Association (KWEA), Build Africa is implementing the ‘The Wasichana Project” (TWP). Through support from The Big Lottery Fund’s, the project aims to improve the quality of primary education in Kwale by training pre-service teachers in the adoption of child-friendly and gender sensitive teaching practices, improving the attitudes of communities towards the importance of education for girls, improving the knowledge and capacity of communities to address violence and abuse against girls, and improving the knowledge base of girls about the opportunities that are available to them.
Scope of Work
The main two categorical objectives of the baseline study was to:
Provide benchmark measures against the project log-frame indicators;
Pilot project indicators and data collection tools.
In order to meet the objectives of the baseline study, we adopted a mixed-methods approach with an emphasis on data triangulation.
In order to meet the research needs of the log-frame, our second objective was to pilot and test various quantitative and qualitative research tools to feed into the log-frame’s outcomes.
Most parents demonstrated values in favor of girls’ education. Most agreed a good education was one way to ensure a girl a happy future (92%) and most parents would encourage their daughter to re-enroll if she dropped out of school before completing Standard 8 (92%). However, there are a number of cases where a large percentage of parents would prioritize sending a boy to school over a girl (12%) or in economic hardship not prioritize a girl’s education (20%).
On average, there is a 68% survival rate for girls between Class 2 and Class 8. The average survival rate decreases as girls progress through primary school. The further a girl gets in primary school the more difficult it is for her to stay in school.
The most common forms of discipline used by teachers are cane and kneeling. 12.4% of girls and 5.6% of boys also reported being sent home as a form of punishment.
The Baseline Study supported a number of project assumptions underpinning the project's theory of change, including the need for teachers to adopt more gender sensitive and child-friendly teaching practices, the low survival rate of girls in primary school, and the lack of parental support towards girls' education in cases of severe economic hardship.