As one of the poorest countries in the world, Guinea struggles with primary school enrollment and inferior education quality. The average classroom hosts 80 children with only one teacher. The number of youth aged 15-24 who have no formal education totals 49 percent. Girls only stay in school an average of eight years. However, even with the failing education in Guinea, there are organizations which work to improve the quality of teaching and educational outreach to youth.
- Actress and spokesperson Mia Farrow worked with UNICEF to help fund schools. In 2010, Farrow visited Guinea to focus on education since the government was lacking in investment on education. Farrow and UNICEF worked on a multi-donor trust fund called the Education for All Fast Track Initiative’s Catalytic Fund. The World Bank managed this fund to allow UNICEF to build 1,000 schools and invest in properly training teachers and improving curricula.
- Save the Children, one of the biggest organizations improving education in developing countries, has worked with improving education in Guinea since 1997. The organization built elementary schools and improved community participation in school management. Their work has reached almost 570 communities.
- Communities of mothers are working to keep their daughters in school. There is a gap between boys and girls when it comes to getting an education. Girls don’t go to school because of poverty, physical and sexual violence as well as early marriage and pregnancy. But if they were able to get an education, it could decrease the likelihood of an early marriage and child mortality. The name of these associations of mothers helping their daughters get access to education in Guinea is “Comités des mères et des élèves filles” (COMEF). COMEFs work within schools to allow safety for girls from sexual violence and to be ‘first responders’ when problems arise.
Even though Guinea still struggles with its educational system, there are still organizations to help young children reach their full potential.
– Emma Majewski