Researching the Barriers to Education Globally
Calvin Clarke, Head of Geography, Hutchesons' Grammar School, Glasgow.
Research aims of project:
To engage pupils in their communities in research into local barriers to education.
To gather and disseminate pupil research projects online
To present the results of this research as educational resources suitable for schools (so that other schools might follow this example).
To identify ways in which these barriers to education might be further broken down.
This project aims to investigate barriers to education in different communities around the world. It aspires to find practical, affordable solutions to these barriers and to identify appropriate actions that school pupils might take to break down these barriers. Simultaneously the project aims to raise the profile of education within the community and inspire pupils there to take action. The project was started in 2010 with the school in Nitte. So far pupils have conducted research in two communities within India (Nitte and Patna), and also in Malawi (Blantyre), in Myanmar (Mandalay), in Tanzania (Moshi) and in Botswana (Lerala). The research findings of each project provide a unique perspective on the ideal of universal education and barriers to it. Action has been taken by the pupils in a great variety of ways, for example by giving talks to groups of adults and children, having letters published in national newspapers, setting up their own website and even appearing on radio and TV. This has resulted in more children attending school.
Action by students in Nitte led to the immediate enrolment of ten children and, later, several others in school. The project has certainly touched many different people within the community, making them aware how highly the children and ourselves regard education and making them aware of ways of reducing the barriers to education in their area. In addition, in five communities our pupils have set up child scholarship schemes which help a few additional children continue their education.
A British Council partnership with the English-medium High School in Nitte, India.
Collaborations with schools in:
Pokhara area, Nepal
The Solomon Islands