The Institute of Adult Education secured funds from Commonwealth of Learning (COL) to implement the GIRLS Inspire project. The project was established to mobilise the power of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) to provide schooling and skills training for girls and young women who are prevented from attending school in Tanzania. It addressed barriers to education and economic participation that many women and girls face such as early marriages, distance to schools, cultural values, security concerns and costs of schooling. Central to the project is the recognition that girls have the ability to inspire their peers to grasp opportunities for learning and to reachfor the stars
The project had the following objectives:
1. To raise awareness of child, early and forced marriage.
2. To address barriers that prevent girls’ economic and social participation.
3. To promote girls’ empowerment through skills development.
4. To provide a platform for girls to tell their stories to a wider audience hence encouraging dialogue that will lead to positive action and inspire positive transformation in families and communities throughout Tanzania.
More than 3000 participants, aged between 15-24, have benefited from the project in Bahi and Kongwa, Districts in Dodoma Region, Kalambo and Nkasi Districts in Rukwa Region and Ruangwa and Kilwa Masoko Districts in Lindi Region. Teaching and learning materials were adopted from other alternative learning programmes. For example, Integrated Post Primary Education (IPPE), a programme which targets people with diverse educational backgrounds such as primary school leavers, adults and learners with special education needs. A total of 13 modules were used in 24 established centres in Dodoma, Lindi and Rukwa regions.
The materials included self-instructional modules on subjects including basic literacy, mathematical operations, communicating in English and Swahili, life-skills, sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, gender, entrepreneurship and financial management skills, environmental and civic and human rights education. Additionally, there were modules available on pre-vocational skills such as batik making (tie and dye), soap making and food processing. IAE also produced audio and audio-visual programmes that beneficiaries used in their training on topics such as how to make juice and nutritious flour, entrepreneurship (audio) and gender, making soap and batik (video). Hence, girls and young women used technology as part of the learning process under the supervision of their facilitators during the training. Learning was in two phases with each centre registering 64 girls and young women. The first phase was between January and April while the second phase started in May and ended in July 2018.