The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Kevin Foday Wando Thoronka

Non-formal primary education

Kevin Foday Wando Thoronka
Childhelp, Sierra Leone

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     Last modified: October 18, 2006
     Presentation date: 11/02/2006 2:30 PM in ST Windsor A
     (View Schedule)

Non-formal Primary Education (NFPE) project is a new system and a way of delivering primary education to the hard-to-reach out of school children, especially the girl-child. It is a way of rising to the challenge of providing education for all and eradicating illiteracy in under-developed nations below poverty line, especially Sierra Leone where the level of illiteracy particularly among females is over 80% and female enrolment in primary school is 40%.

The primary school level of education has for a long time being fraught with the problems of low enrolment, and high drop-outs/push-out rates. This project idea is now part of the New Policy on Education in Sierra Leone and is being used by government as a strategy to expand primary education in the country.

NFPE is an answer to problems keeping children from attending schools, factors that hinder child development, conditions that posed problems for child development, girl child concept for not attending school, problems that caused women not to educate, and to enhance the participation of women in the educational sector. The strategy framework of NFPE rests on the belief that the project should always be implemented with the active collaboration of parents and communities.

NFPE is unique because of the following features, which have made it low-cost and therefore affordable because individual communities determine contact hours, short periods of schooling (2-3 hours) to allow children help their parents/guardians at home, longer school year (4 terms of 11 weeks each), no longer vocation, no fees or charges except for community levy in cash/kind as determined by individual communities, no uniforms, use of community members as teachers/facilitators (Facilitators can be either taken from the 3rd Grade/forms up to higher level and are later trained well for teaching),

admission ratio favors girls, community contribution in the form of land, labour and in-kind to assist teachers/facilitators, schools run entirely by community and Venue decided and provided by the community.

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