Many girls in sub-Saharan Africa do not participate significantly or perform well in Mathematics, Science and Technology subjects. This situation becomes more pronounced as the level of education increases and a combination of factors, including cultural practices and attitudes and biased teaching and learning materials, perpetuate the imbalance.
FAWE developed its Science, Mathematics and Technology (SMT) model to increase and sustain access, interest, participation and performance of girls in SMT subjects at all levels.
The model trains teachers to adopt and use SMT curricula, teaching and learning materials and classroom practices that are gender-responsive.
It involves not only teachers but education planners, curriculum developers, publishers and women leaders, and sensitises parents and stakeholders on the importance of girls’ participation in SMT.
Features of FAWE’s SMT model
The SMT model features extensive use of activities and resources including:
- Science camps and clubs.
- Study tours.
- Profiles on women achievers in science-based fields.
- Exposure to role models.
- Awards to female achievers in SMT subjects.
The Science, Mathematics and Technology model was initiated in 2005 and has been introduced in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.
Impact of FAWE’s SMT model
- Higher rates of girls’ participation in SMT subjects.
- Improved test scores for girls.
- Improved teachers’ attitudes towards girls’ abilities and participation in SMT.
- Improved instructional materials for SMT subjects.
- Girls’ positive attitudinal change to SMT.
- Greater confidence for girls in tackling academic challenges.
- Enhancement of girls’ chances for career progression.
Over 15,000 students have benefited from FAWE’s SMT programme since 1995.