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close this bookAction Against Child Labour (ILO; 2000; 356 pages)
View the documentPreface
Open this folder and view contents1. National policies and programmes
Open this folder and view contents2. Towards improved legislation
Open this folder and view contents3. Improving the knowledge base on child labour
close this folder4. Alternatives to child labour
View the documentINTRODUCTION
Open this folder and view contents4.1 STRATEGIES IN EDUCATION
View the documentChild victims of bondage, commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking
View the documentGirls
View the documentChildren living and working on the streets
View the documentChildren of indigenous groups and other minorities
View the documentChecklist 4.1 Identifying target groups and selecting children
View the documentChecklist 4.2 Planning vocational skills training programmes
View the documentChecklist 4.3 Measuring the impact of action programmes
Open this folder and view contents5. Strategies to address child slavery
Open this folder and view contents6. Strategies for employers and their organizations
Open this folder and view contents7. Trade unions against child labour
Open this folder and view contents8. Awareness-raising
Open this folder and view contents9. Action by community groups and NGOs
Open this folder and view contents10. Resources on child labour
View the documentOther ILO publications
View the documentBack Cover


While progress is being made in many countries to increase the access of girls to education, they continue to have less access worldwide than boys. At the same time, girls and women bear a major share of the burden of poverty. Giving girls access to quality education is a first essential step towards empowering them and enabling them to break through the vicious cycle of poverty.

Box 4.10. Literacy Awareness and Educational Support Programme - Child Workers in Nepal Concerned Centre (CWIN)

CWIN is an organization of human rights activists which has committed itself to promote children's rights and has initiated programmes for children who are victims of human rights violations. These include child labourers from tea estates and carpet factories, street children and children from poor urban and rural communities, many of whom work under bonded labour arrangements.

CWIN aims to eliminate child labour and rehabilitate child victims. Improvement in the situation of abused children goes hand in hand with lobbying for children's rights and creating nationwide awareness. CWIN's strategy is multi-pronged. It raises awareness, educates children and their families and provides a whole range of other support services such as obtaining legal protection for children, lobbying for the amendment of laws and forming pressure groups to lobby for the rights of children. It seeks to rehabilitate destitute families by providing alternative sources of income and shelters to homeless children.

CWIN's educational programmes include a literacy and awareness programme for around 1,400 children in Sundhupalchowk, Ham, Jhapa and Kathmandu. Classes focus on the three Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic) as well as education on children's rights, for a period of nine months. Teachers are drawn from groups of workers, teachers, women, human rights workers and social workers in the surrounding areas. Facilitators are recruited from the community, the tea estates or the carpet factories, and are trained for ten days. CWIN has developed literacy materials on children's rights and uses these in tandem with materials developed by the Ministry of Education for non-formal education programmes. One objective of the literacy classes is to help child workers understand their rights to fair wages and to be able to determine if they are being paid in full.

CWIN also provides informal education programmes and multi-grade classes in its Common Room and Transit Homes, which are shelters for homeless children, many of whom have never been to school or have had to drop out. After participating in these programmes, the children are assisted through scholarships to attend formal schools. There are various assistance schemes to cover school fees for returning children, and uniforms and supplies, as well as residential care. Some children attend private schools, but more attend the local public schools.

CWIN has recently initiated an experimental education and skills training programme. The first vocational courses were on bicycle repair and electrical wiring. Older children were provided with tool kits and some provision for food and lodging, so that they could start out on their own. The programme still needs strengthening, especially in terms of sustaining contact with the children and ensuring that they are in a safe condition. There is a need to further address the needs of these children and to develop viable alternatives for them.

Successful strategies include intensive awareness-raising in communities where there are social and cultural constraints, provision of schools and childcare facilities near the girls' homes, recruitment of female teachers, promotion of gender fairness and equality at schools, and investment in the education and skill training of mothers. An especially vulnerable target group is pregnant girls and teenage mothers. Prevention through family life education for boys and girls at school is still the most cost-effective measure. Special programmes to allow pregnant girls and young mothers to continue their education are also needed, as these young women are otherwise forced to start working themselves and involve their children from an early age in meeting basic survival needs.

Box 4.11. Cheli-Beti Programme - Education for Rural Development Project, Government of Nepal

The Cheli-Beti programme was launched as a pilot project to address the special needs of girls and women in the region. The situation of girls required special attention because girls were married off early, put to work in the husbands' households or other workplaces at an early age and usually never enrolled in school.

The strategies of the Cheli-Beti (C-B) programme included: (i) intensive awareness-raising in villages on the importance of educating girls; (ii) identifying and training female educators from the area to work as field coordinators and teachers for the programme; (iii) utilizing local schools as resource centres; and (iv) identifying villages where 15-25 girls could be gathered and motivated to attend the classes facilitated by the local C-B teacher.

The curriculum included reading, writing, mathematics, personal hygiene, household management with emphasis on health and sanitation, and practical skills, such as planting and caring for fruit-bearing plants, making kitchen gardens, sewing and solving common health problems such as stopping diarrhoea and de-worming. The teaching methods were interactive and made frequent use of songs, games, problem-solving exercises and field trips. The children who completed the C-B classes were encouraged to enrol in formal schools. They were given equivalency tests and enrolled in the grade levels for which they qualified, usually Grade 3.

Eighty-six per cent of the participants completed the classes, learned both life and learning skills, and were literate by the end of the project. The girls said that they appreciated the value of education and felt that they would be better able to support their own sons and daughters when they went to school. However, while most of the C-B graduates went on to primary school, many of them did not complete the cycle in the formal schools. Some of the C-B teachers are now teaching in the local primary schools. Unfortunately, the innovative methods in the C-B programme were not adopted in the regular primary schools. However, the programme strategy and methods have been adopted by the Basic and Primary Education Project (BPEP) and the Women's Education Project (WEP) as their Out-of-School Programme. This programme is now implemented in 40 of the 75 school districts, and several NGOs also use the C-B curriculum for their literacy programmes.

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