Why send girls to boarding school?

Ojolla Girls Secondary School students

Ojolla Girls Secondary School students

By Ellen Daniels-Howell – Project Leader

Often we are asked why we give the girl students the option of attending boarding school since it is more costly than a traditional day school.  We asked one of our former students, Judith, for her thoughts about why boarding school is important for girls:

“Day school entails so many risks which affect the lives of scholars. It’s with perseverance, hope, determination, together with luck that students manage to go through day school and come out successful. The challenges affect both boys and girls but the most affected ones are girls. Girl child performance has been reported to be poor in day school compared to boys as a result of the many challenges a girl encounters, which she doesn’t have control over.

As a girl who went through day school the thought of always being insecure was always on my mind. There were times when rape cases would be a major issue and this would be at dawn when girls would be going to school or late in the evening when they would be from school. But that was not the only fear. There were times when attacks would erupt and girls would be attacked and kidnapped on their way to or from school. This was not only a threat to girls but to boys who had to provide security for the girls.

Sexual harassment is the major issue when it comes to day schoolers. The different kinds of people a girl meets every day form home or from school always have the thought of taking advantage of the innocent hearts and making them drop out of school, the reason being that they have left the girls pregnant and therefore the girls can’t continue learning. This is a great worry to both teachers and guardians because it affects even bright girls and affects their future. Owing to the fact that the girls are always vulnerable, the men lure the girls with things that they know the girls need urgently ad once trapped, a girl has no otherwise but to do as the man requires in return for what she has been receiving from him.

In the case of child headed households, the thought of being insecure at home and the thought of not having food affects their concentration in school and in the end they perform poorly. It is them who have to look for food for their siblings and this has to be done within a short time before it’s dark, because the students leave school very late and in most cases they end up sleeping hungry.

A lot of time is wasted by a girl in day school as a result of walking to and from school and household chores and when the time for studying comes a girl is always too tired to study. Sometimes there is a no kerosene for their lamps and they end up not even doing their homework. The best place for girls is boarding schools, which enables them to do well in their studies, and reduces their chances of dropping out of school!”

Students can’t do well in school when they are worried about their health and safety.  We thank you for your support which allows us to provide a safe and secure environment in which our students can learn!