Abdul Alim Kamel Ben Abdallah Solofo Ramaroson Maman Sidikou Lieke Van de Wiel Accelerating Girl’s Education In Yemen: Rethinking Policies in Teachers’ Recruitment and School Distribution POLICY PAPER ACCELERATING GIRL’S EDUCATION IN YEMEN: Rethinking Policies in Teachers’ Recruitment and School Distribution Applicable MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women Authors: Abdul Alim, Kamel Ben Abdallah, Solofo Ramaroson, Maman Sidikou, Lieke Van de Wiel Region: Middle East and North Africa February 2007
This paper is written in the context of the Learning Programme on Public Policy, Advocacy and Partnerships for Children’s Rights by UNICEF and the University of Maastricht Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS CRC CSO EMIS FTI GDP GER GoY KFW MDG MoE MTRF NBEDS WB Convention on the Right of the Child Central Statistical Office Education Management Information System Fast Track Initiative Gross Domestic Product Gross Enrolment Rate Government of Yemen Kreditantsaft Fur Wiederaufbau Millennium Development Goals
Ministry of Education Medium Term Results Framework National Basic Education Development Strategy World Bank 2 Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen 3 TABLE OF CONTENT List of Abbreviations EXECUTIVE SUMMARY……………………………………………………………………………… 4 1. 1. 1 1. 2 INTRODUCTION …………………………………………………………………………………………. 6 Problem identification…………………………………………………………………………………….. Issues to be addressed …………………………………………………………………………………….. 6 2. 2. 1 2. 2 2. 3 PROBLEM ANALYSIS …………………………………………………………………………………. 7 Description of problem: Situation of education in Yemen …………………………………… 7 Girls’ education……………………………………………………………………………………………… 8 Analysis of low enrolment ………………………………………………………………………………. Current Policies and instruments ……………………………………………………………………. 10 3. RESEARCH JUSTIFICATION……………………………………………………………………… 11 4. 4. 1 4. 2 BUDGETARY STATUS AND ALLOCATION………………………………………………. 11 Stagnation of investment in the sector …………………………………………………………….. 11 Allocation system…………………………………………………………………………………………. 12 5. 5. 1 5. 2
CORRELATIONS OBSERVED ……………………………………………………………………. 13 Correlation between female teachers and girls’ enrolment and retention……………… 14 Correlation between more rural infrastructure development and Girls’ enrolment… 15 6. 6. 1 6. 2 IMPACT OF CURRENT POLICIES ……………………………………………………………… 16 Policy on teachers’ recruitment and deployment ………………………………………………. 16 Policy on school distances in rural areas………………………………………………………….. 9 7. 7. 1 7. 2 7. 3 7. 4 POLICY OPTIONS ……………………………………………………………………………………… 21 Increase female teachers ……………………………………………………………………………….. 21 Bring school closer to girls ……………………………………………………………………………. 22 Create an education and gender sensitive environment ……………………………………… 23 Strengthening the Education Management Information System …………………………. 24 8.
CONCLUSIONS………………………………………………………………………………………….. 25 NOTES REFERENCES Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen 4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This policy paper focuses on the Millennium Development Goal 3: to promote gender equality and empower women. The authors contend that, using gender as major criteria, current educational policies can be improved and better educational outcomes can be achieved for girls. Yemen is the least developed country in the Middle East with a position as number 151 out of 177 nations on the Human Development Index and a GDP per capita of US$ 631.
On the gender equity scale Yemen demonstrates large inequalities between men and women, ranking 121st out of 140 countries. Although the number of children has been growing over the last 5 years, recent trends in primary education still point to slow progress. Despite an increase in gross enrolment rates from 73% in 2000/01 to 76% in 2004/05 only 63% of girls were enrolled in 2004/05. The gender gap remains high and while it is being reduced, the rate of change is not enough to ensure that gender parity will be improved to less than 5 points by 2015.
Recent studies clearly show that the main causes for low enrolment and high drop-out rates for girls in Yemen are: 1) lack of accessibility 2) socio-cultural factors and 3) institutional factors. A large part of Yemen’s population, approximately 72% live in rural areas and since Yemen is a large country with millions of people scattered widely over often difficult terrain, the accessibility of schools is a major challenge in rural areas. At the same time, cultural and social norms have a more defining influence in the rural areas.
Cultural and traditional perceptions of women and girls have led to a tradition of segregation between the sexes. This poses specific demands on the education system, such as schools suitable only if within culturally acceptable distances and locations, and the need for female teachers for girls after the fourth grade. The institutions responsible for education have not yet been able to respond sufficiently to these challenges. The 6. 2% of GDP allocated to education is modest and with a constant increasing number of children to be provided with quality education, more investment is needed.
However, this paper does not focus on the size of the investment but looks at the strategic use and management of available resources. To re-allocate the budget in favour of girls’ education, the focus should be on the categories with the highest expenditure: salaries and infrastructure. Hence, the policies in the areas of teachers’ recruitment and school distribution are analysed. The causal link between recruitment of female teachers and girls’ enrolment and retention is direct and very significant. Quantitative and qualitative data from national and nternational studies are utilized in the paper to show this relationship. Many Yemeni families would like to see their girls continue schooling beyond the age of 11, provided there are female teachers. From the family’s point of view, female teachers offer a safe environment for girls’ education. At the same time, from the girls’ perspectives, the work of female teachers inspires them and the teachers become role models. There is evidence that the lack of a school close to the home raises concern for the safety and security of girls.
Parents are less likely to allow girls to go to school than boys if the distance to school is too far or keep them home after a certain age. Their decision to send girls to school is also influenced by the availability of girls-only schools. Data reflects disparity in availability of such schools with significant rural-urban differences. Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen 5 The current policies on teachers’ recruitment and deployment are not favourable for women, a conclusion supported by the limited number of female teachers especially in the rural areas.
The recommendation is to establish specific targets for female teachers’ recruitment, both in numbers as in geographical coverage. Policy options suggests to increase the number of female teachers include recommendations to adjust the minimum qualifications and admit secondary school graduates in entry positions, to fine-tune and decentralize the process of allocating teachers to schools, to provide more innovative incentives, special allowances and variety of positions, and to encourage less formal solutions, such as assistant teachers.
Although there has been recently a large investment in school construction, expansion and rehabilitation, the focus has not been specifically on girls’ enrolment and retention and hence the figures for girls in the rural areas have stayed too low. Therefore, it is recommended to apply specifically targeted expansion with the aim to bring schools closer to girls. This implies the adoption of measures suitable for rural circumstances, allowing smaller viable school sizes that work through multi-grade teaching, multi-subject teaching and alternate year entry.
It is also recommended to allocate construction investment in already existing rural community schools which will sustain the demand of the community and encourage school retention. The current expansion of only-girls schools should be accelerated, for example by utilizing double shift schooling or residential schools for higher grades. The social and political environment needs to be targeted with advocacy efforts to promote education in general and girls’ education in particular for girls’ friendly policies in education to be effective.
If Yemen really is committed to providing every child with a quality education a clear budgetary answer should be formulated and investment in education should increase. Also the progress towards gender sensitiveness both in the institutional environment and within a socio-cultural context is an important factor in the outcome of these policies. Bringing change in gender perception in a society is very complex and demands a mix of pull and push strategies.
The pull approach includes introduction of stipends and other financial incentives for girls while the push factors relate to an increased social awareness and acceptance of girls’ education. The final recommendation focuses on strengthening the Education Management Information System (EMIS) since this should support a deliberate result based management process that ultimately will contribute to achieving the related Millennium Development Goals. A further analysis of the listed policy options from the social acceptability and political sensitivity perspectives, as well as a more in-depth economic and financial analysis should be completed.
Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen 6 1. INTRODUCTION The Republic of Yemen is the least developed country in the Middle East. Though the country has seen yearly growth rates between three and five percent in most years since the unification, it continues to be categorized as a “least developed country” with a position as number 1511 out of 177 nations on the Human Development Index and a GDP per capita of US$ 631. More than half the country’s population is considered below the poverty line and 16% of the population have Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) of less than $1 a day.
On the gender equity scale Yemen demonstrates large inequalities between men and women,2 ranking 121st out of 140 countries. Yemen has signed almost all UN conventions on human rights, including the convention on the rights of the child and the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, and aligned its national constitution with these commitments3. As acknowledged by the CRC Committee in 2005 in its third periodic report on Yemen, the country has undertaken various institutional and legal processes and adopted several national strategic plans and policies aimed at improving the status of women and children.
However, social and economic progress has not kept pace with these policy developments. Economic indicators have faltered in recent years and poverty has increased despite the discovery of oil in 1984. More than half of its 20 million4 population is under the age of 18 years and more than half of the children in the country live below the poverty line. There are increasing disparities in access to social services and income because of downward economic growth and high population growth (3. 2%), rising inflation (13%), high unemployment (2040%) lack of private sector development, and slow paced reform in public finances, fiscal decentralization and service delivery. 1. 1 Problem Identification The GoY has committed itself through a wide range of initiatives and instruments to improving gender parity and increasing girls’ enrolment and retention in basic education. However, these commitments have not yet resulted in a steady rise in the number of girls going to school and finishing their basic education.
The gender gap remains high and while it is being reduced, the rate of change is not enough to ensure that gender parity will be improved to less than 5 points by 2015. The proportion of GDP allocated to education (6. 2 percent) is modest and with a constant increasing number of children to be provided with quality education, more investment is needed. The donor pledges of 4. 7 billion USD during a high-level meeting in London in November 2006 should be used to seriously invest in the country’s education. However, this paper does not focus on the size of the investment but looks at the strategic use and management of available resources. . 2 Issues to be addressed This paper looks at policy areas that have considerable potential to increase female enrolment and retention in Basic Education in Yemen. The authors contend that, using gender as major criteria, current policies can be improved and better educational outcomes can be achieved Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen 7 for girls. Policy areas are selected by taking into account the budget allocation within the educational sector. This, results in an analysis of the policies related to teachers’ recruitment and school distribution from a gender perspective.
The analysis leads to recommendations on how to refocus the policies in these two areas. It is expected that a case can be made to the Ministry of Education of Yemen to take a serious look at its current policies to ensure that girl’s education is made a priority. 2. PROBLEM ANALYSIS 2. 1 Situation of education in Yemen Although the gross enrolment figures have been growing over the last 5 years, recent trends in primary education still point to slow progress1. As illustrated in figure 1 below, despite an increase in gross enrolment rates from 73% in 2000/01 to 76% in 2004/05, only 63% of girls were enrolled in 2004/05.
While gender parity has improved (from 0. 60 in 2001 to 0. 72 in 2003)2 the pace of progress is insufficient for Yemen to achieve the relevant MDG by 2015, partly because the improvement in parity is also indicative of a slow rate of improvement in boys’ enrolment. Figure 1: Gross enrolment rate for Basic Education of girls and boys between 2000 and 2005 100 90 80 70 60 girls 50 boys 40 GER 30 20 10 0 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 Data in table 1 also indicates an increasing trend in the number of students per teacher as well as an increase in the number of students per classroom.
It also shows that the percentage of the private sector share in enrolment has increased from 1. 3% in 200/01 to 2. 3% in 2004/05. There is clearly the need for further investment in school construction and teacher training and recruitment. Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen Table 1: Changes in Indicators for Basic Education between 2000 and 2005 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 Gross Enrollment Rate (percent) 73 73 75 Basic education 54 56 59 girls 90 89 90 boys Girl’s share in enrollment 36 37 38 (percent) Private sector share in 1. 3 1. 5 1. 7 enrollment (percent) 24. 49 37. 22 40 Student-teacher ratio 9. 1 30. 5 31. 0 Student-class (section) ratio 2003/04 2004/05 76 62 90 76 63 88 39 40 1. 8 2. 3 40 31. 8 8 40 32. 0 Source: MOE enrollment/ CSO Census 2004 Population and WB Calculation The National Basic Education Development Strategy (NBEDS) adopted by the Yemeni Government in 2002 is serving as a framework to achieve the goals of GER of 90% in 2010 and 95% in 2015, and reduce the gender gap to 11% by 2010. Basic education in Yemen consists of 9 compulsory years. It is followed by 3 years of general secondary education. This paper will mainly focus on basic education. 2. 2 Girls’ education
The gender gap in enrolment is lowest in the first year of basic education; in 2003/4, 43% of children enrolled in the first basic class were girls, which represents 76 girls for every 100 boys enrolled (there are 94 girls for 100 boys at birth and 96 women for 100 men in the total population of Yemen – calculated from 2004 National Census). However, the gap widened considerably as students’ age increased. Overall, girls accounted for only 38. 9% of children enrolled in basic education in 2004/05 (63 girls for every 100 boys), and by the ninth grade, only 44 girls were enrolled for every 100 boys3.
This is partly due to the greater gap in first grade enrolment in the past but also reflects higher dropout rates by girls in higher grades. The gender gap is also related to rural-urban differences, which can be seen in the following figure: Figure 2: The gender gap in enrolment rates by age group between urban and rural areas in 2003 50 40 6 to 11 30 12 to 14 20 15 to 17 total 10 0 Urban % Rural % Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen 9 The 1990/91 Yemen Demographic Survey found that the average gender gap in urban areas was only 8. 1% compared to 55. % in rural areas which translate in a gender gap almost seven times larger in rural areas. Between 1990/91 and 2003 progress was made in rural areas as well as in urban areas. However, the table below shows that in 2003, the average gender gap in enrolment in rural areas (32. 4%) was eight times higher than in urban areas (4. 5%), decreasing slower than in urban areas. This demonstrates that although with a significant decrease of the gender gap in rural areas, this progress is still not keeping up with development in urban areas. Rural areas are thus the major challenges for Education for All.
Table 2: Male and female enrolment rates in different age groups Urban (%) Rural (%) Age group Male Female Gender gap Male Female Gender gap 84. 6 83. 7 0. 9 70. 3 47. 9 32. 4 89. 3 83. 4 5. 9 82. 8 41. 4 41. 4 15-17 74. 3 63. 5 10. 8 66. 6 21. 0 45. 6 Total 83. 4 78. 9 4. 5 72. 6 40. 2 32. 4 6-11 12-14 Source: PAPFAM date 2003 With such low current enrolment rates, it is not surprising to note that illiteracy is high in Yemen, estimated at 47% of the population aged 10 and above. Both gender and urban-rural differences are significant: 84. 8% of urban and 68. 9% of rural males in this age group are literate, compared to only 59. % of urban and 24. 3% of rural females4. 2. 3 Analysis of low enrolment Studies clearly show that the main causes for low enrolment and high drop-out rates for girls in Yemen are: 1) lack of accessibility, 2) socio-economic and cultural factors and 3) institutional factors. 1. A large part of Yemen’s population, approximately 72% live in rural areas while the remaining 28% live in cities and towns5. Since Yemen is a large country with millions of people scattered widely over often difficult terrain, the accessibility of schools is a major challenge in rural areas.
In many cases children are supposed to walk over an hour to reach the nearest school. The distances become further in the higher the grades as not all schools offer both primary and secondary education. 2. At the same time, cultural and social norms have a more defining influence in the rural areas. Cultural and traditional perceptions of women and girls as ‘vulnerable’ have led to a tradition of segregation between the sexes. This poses specific demands on the education system, such as schools suitable only if within cultural acceptable distances and locations, and the need for female teachers for girls after the fourth grade.
Where co-education is considered unacceptable, the lack of separate classes for female students strongly effects girls’ initial enrolment and, more significantly, the retention of female students. In these communities there is a clear lack of demand to have their girls enrolled in school6. Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen 10 The criteria to take girls out of school or not enrol them at all vary among communities and generations. The census of 2004 shows that 47. 4% of persons above 5 years7 never enrolled in schools, declared absence of schools and long distances as cause for non enrolment.
In the rural areas 49. 6% of the respondents fitted in this category while in the urban areas this percentage was 37. 1%. Lack of female teachers for girls was cited by 4. 6% of women and only 1. 4% of men mentioned lack of male teachers as reason. Lack of interest of the family in education was clearly much more decisive for women: 23. 4% while only 7. 3% for men. The 1997 Demographic Health Survey surveying women aged 15-24 found that 29% left school because they got married, 15% of women who dropped out of school reported that they had had enough of school, while 13% cited a dislike for school.
The other important reasons for non-attendance were that the “family need[s] help” (10%), that “schools are not accessible” (9%), and that “parents refused their daughters continuing school” (9%). In addition, a number of studies have stated that education is not considered an essential asset for girls in their future, particularly in poor families. A review done by Ashuraey (1995) revealed that the main obstacles to the education of girls were insufficient infrastructure and a lack of female teachers8.
Other criteria included the lack of girl-friendly school management that encourages girls’ activities, poor availability of separate toilet facilities in mixed schools and, in some areas of the country, the lack of separation of girls and boys into separate classrooms or shifts at age nine9. The last point is supported by other research which has shown that co-education and the presence of male teachers (especially single men who are not local residents) for the instruction of adolescent girls is a key reason for many Middle Eastern parents to remove their daughters out of school at a later stage (Rihani 1993, Mehran 1995).
Data related to income indicate that there is a significant difference between urban and rural areas but not such a difference between poor and non-poor families in rural areas. The 1999 Poverty Monitoring Survey also indicated that the utilization of educational services does not depend on poverty (poor and non-poor families) but on the distance of families to the school, particularly in rural areas. 3. Institutional factors are generated by the way the education sector has been managed in the past.
In the early years of educational expansion, planners based their policies on school construction, curricula development and school fees on the notion that what is appropriate for boys is also appropriate for girls, and that what is useful in urban areas will also be useful in rural areas. Only when the gender gap in girls’ education became increasingly visible did management begin to realize the importance of differences in social and economic factors between urban and rural families, and that the ability of rural families to send their girls to school is governed by a different set of criteria and requirements.
The three areas generating most obstacles – lack of accessibility, socio-cultural factors and institutional factors – demonstrate clearly that both supply and demand factors are influencing the educational situation in Yemen. The following part of the paper will thus discuss the policies formulated by the government to address these issues. 2. 4 Current Policies and Instruments The efforts of the GoY-MoE have focused on improving the quality education, strengthening educational institutions, and increasing the accessibility of schools within this framework.
According to the policy documents, increasing accessibility involves three areas: 1) a recently designed programme of household incentives at a pilot stage, 2) infrastructure of schools and Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen 11 classroom and 3) focus on school management and promotion of community participation. The earlier mentioned National Basic Education Development Strategy (NBEDS) and more concretely defined in the Medium Term Results Framework (MTRF) adopted in 2006 form the basis of these efforts. The approach of both the NBEDS as MTRF to close the gender gap has been to mainstream the gender component in the general policies.
An important institutional step has been the creation of a girls’ education sector, which is headed by a Deputy Minister in 2005. The sector has a monitoring role which is in synch with the overall approach of the MoE of mainstreaming gender. Each sector, such as infrastructure, teachers’ recruitment, training, curriculum etc. should, within their policy formulation integrate a focus on girls. It has been anticipated by the Government of Yemen that this strategy will effectively address the obstacles of girls’ education as discussed above. 3. RESEARCH JUSTIFICATION
While Yemen is making some progress towards achieving gender parity by providing universal primary education, the rate of progress is not satisfactory. The overall governance issues and security imperatives, which are detailed below, might be used as justification not to increase the budgetary allocation (over and above the current allocation) in order to achieve Millennium Development Goal 3. However as mentioned earlier, in the light of the committed donor funding advocacy efforts should focus on augmenting the current budget for education.
At the same time it is also fair to conclude that given the reasonable level of investment in primary education, the reasons for Yemen’s slow progress can be attributed to the fact that the current policies and their implementation are not sufficient in reaching the targets specified in the strategic frameworks. The answer, therefore, lies in evaluating and strategically shaping these policy interventions to optimize the current budgetary outlays and achieve maximum effectiveness and efficiency with a focus on gender parity.
To do this it is important to study the current allocation practices within the sector to identify where most expenditure is located, and evaluate the policies of these areas for responsiveness towards achieving gender parity. 4. BUDGET STATUS AND ALLOCATION 4. 1 Stagnation of investment in the sector Investment in education in per capita GDP terms is considered to be satisfactory, especially compared to the budget of Public Health. The public expenditure on education in 2003 is 5. 8% of GDP compared to the budget for the Ministry of Health, which is only 1. % of GDP in 2004. Table 3: Public Spending on Health and Education, 2000-2004 Year 2000 2003 Rials % of public % of % of public Rials Sector (billions) expenditure GDP expenditure 20. 3 4. 3 1. 3 30. 5 4 Health 88. 8 17. 7 5. 7 133. 3 17. 2 Education Source: CCA –HR – October 2006 – Please note Rials are reflected in billions % of GDP 1. 4 6. 2 Rials 32. 1 147. 9 2004 % of public expenditure 3. 7 17 % of GDP 1. 3 5. 8 Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen 12 However, at the same time the table below shows a trend of stagnation in the investment over the last few years10.
Table 4: Public Education Expenditure Overall Public 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Education Expenditures Total expenditures (356. 6) (417. 4) (431. 9) (549. 2) (602. 8) (699. 9) (726. 8) (805. ) n/a n/a (current US$ million) as share of total 15. 0 18. 8 19. 6 17. 7 19. 5 20. 7 17. 2 16. 7 21. 2 15. 6 public expenditures (%) 5. 2 6. 7 5. 7 5. 8 6. 2 6. 8 6. 4 6. 2 n/a n/a as share of GDP (%) Current expenditures 15. 1 19. 2 22. 1 21. 1 23. 1 25. 5 22. 1 20. 3 24. 5 16. 8 as share of total public current expenditures (%) . 2 5. 3 5. 0 5. 2 5. 4 5. 9 5. 3 5. 0 n/a n/a as share of GDP Capital expenditure 15. 7 19. 4 12. 1 7. 4 9. 3 7. 6 7. 2 8. 7 14. 7 13. 1 as share of total public capital expenditures (%) 1. 0 1. 4 0. 7 0. 5 0. 6 0. 5 0. 8 0. 9 n/a n/a as share of GDP (%) Source: MOF, Bulletin of Government Finance Statistics, Issue No. 17, 3rd Quarter 2004; Exchange rate from Central Bank of Yemen Annual Report 2004, 2005 data from MoF, CD rom for Budget 2005, 2004 GDP and exchange rate from MOF website [2005 quarterly bulleting], budget 2006 from CD rom
The high rate of population growth, measured at 3% per year in the 2004 population census, means that approximately 640,000 children ready to begin school every year11. The stagnation of investment has negative implications for the achievement of MDGs 2 and 3 as more children have to be served by the same level of funding. However, as it will become clear in further discussion, this aspect is not dealt with in this paper. The causes of stagnation in investment in per capita GDP terms on primary education are complex and not very well documented.
The most obvious cause, however, is poor governance, which has implications for all processes including planning and fiscal management of social sectors and allocation practices. Yemen is a fragile state12 and is ranked 16th on the Failed State Index 13 (FSI 2006) putting it between Burundi (15th) and Sierra Leone (17th). Tribal relationships determine and shape the relatively weak democratic state institutions, which further distorts an already complex decision making process. The dominant culture of patronage has given rise to high levels of corruption14.
The slow pace of economic and civil service reform, reluctance to decentralize government functions and low technical capacity at the local level means there is a chronically low absorption capacity in line ministries and local governments which limits investment. An unstable security situation, international pressure to be a part of war on terrorism and increasing challenge from Islamist parties to the secular state is a growing concern. This, in view of authorities, necessitates a high budget allocation to defence and internal security costing the country a high percentage of its GDP every year.
This current approach does not leave much room for improving allocations to social sectors within the context of a resource poor country. 4. 2 Allocation system As in many other countries, the Ministry of Education in Yemen is not the only actor in planning and financing the educational sector. At the central level, besides the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Planning and Ministry of Civil Service are important decision makers when it comes to the budget of the educational sector. In addition, the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Local Administration are involved in the financing and service
Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen 13 delivery of the education sector. At the governorate and district level, local authorities play a role in requesting, transferring and implementing the funding. The education budget is divided in recurrent (85%) and capital (15%) expenditures (see the table below). Within the recurrent budget the salaries and wages make up for approximately 75%, while three other categories of Goods and Services, Maintenances and Transfer/support receive the remaining 25% of funding. Table 5: MoE Central and Governorate Total Expenditures (Nominal/ In billion YR) Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 004 2005 Total Recurrent Salary and Wages Goods and Services Maintenance Transfer/ Support Capital 2006 Actual 66. 73 62. 75 (94. 0 %) Actual 82. 61 78. 06 (94. 5 %) Actual 100. 75 95. 08 (94. 4 %) Actual 106. 56 96. 29 (90. 4 %) Actual 119. 09 104. 61 (87. 8 %) Budget 136. 88 116. 89 (85. 4 %) Budget 139. 42 118. 32 (84. 9 %) 46. 27 60. 24 78. 37 78. 84 86. 10 96. 69 97. 75 7. 72 8. 44 7. 60 7. 56 7. 55 7. 82 8. 00 0. 18 0. 22 0. 16 0. 17 0. 16 0. 25 0. 26 8. 57 9. 36 8. 95 9. 72 10. 79 12. 14 12. 30 3. 98 (6. 0 %) 4. 55 (5. 5 %) 5. 67 (5. 6 %) 10. 27 (9. 6 %) 14. 48 (12. 2 %) 19. 99 (14. 6 %) 21. 11 (15. 1 %)
Source: Raw data of MoE based on 2004 census with calculation by World Bank 2006 The allocation for salaries accounts for 70% of the recurrent budget. Knowing that salary and wages are by far the dominant category of this component, one can draw the conclusion that changes in the budget allocation within that category will have a more significant effect than in any other category. Hence the policy related to teachers will be one focus of this paper. Regarding the capital expenditure, one can observe that this funding has been largely invested in hardware, mainly the construction of schools and additional classrooms.
Between 2000 and 2005, the number of schools increased by 10. 2% from 13,078 to 14,41715. The largest portion of the external funding from the World Bank, UK/DFID, the Dutch Government, KFW, FTI and others focus on school construction, expansion and rehabilitation. Based on the above it can be concluded that to re-allocate the budget in favour of girls’ education, the focus should be on the categories with the highest expenditure: salaries and infrastructure. The following section will discuss the correlation between the policies in these areas: teachers’ recruitment and school distribution.
The results of the analysis will provide input for alternative policy recommendations. 5. CORRELATIONS OBSERVED Within the large number of interventions being implemented by the public sector and based on the information above, we have selected two areas in particular for a potentially large effect (correlation) on gender parity: i) number and availability of female teachers ii) an investment bias in the public education sector development against16 rural areas where most poor and deprived population resides. Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen 4 5. 1 Correlation between female teachers and girls’ enrolment and retention Based on the reviewed literature and given the cultural and traditional norms in Yemen, one of the policy instruments that can clearly bring about a change in gender parity is the availability of female teachers. There is evidence from many countries to show a correlation between the number of female teachers and girls’ enrolment. In countries where there are more or less equal numbers of male and female primary teachers, there is close to gender parity in student intake.
In contrast, in those countries where only 20% of teachers are female, far more boys than girls enrol in school17. Many Yemeni families would like to see their girls continue schooling beyond the age of 11, provided there are female teachers. From the family’s point of view, female teachers provide a safe environment for girls’ education, particularly for those aged 11 and above. At the same time, from the girls’ perspectives, the work of female teachers inspires them and raises their hopes to become teachers themselves, as the teaching profession is approved and respected by the community.
There have been a number of cases in Yemen where schools were built for girls in response to demands but which remained unused because families refused to send their girls due to the lack of female teachers. The study conducted by Ashuraey in 1995 showed that in 28% of cases in which girls withdrew from school, the father had made the decision because of a lack of female teachers18. There are several reasons for focusing on this particular issue: i)
Increasing the proportion of female teachers, an increase in the overall number of teachers can be achieved within the targets of existing strategic frameworks, such as the Basic Education Development Strategy ii) Despite the availability and construction of additional schools, the limiting factor remains the availability of female teachers. iii) Traditional beliefs in Yemeni society prefer that girls from grade 6 upwards to be taught only by female teachers. iv) There is evidence to link availability of female teachers to girl’s education as role models.
Other studies point towards the positive effects that female teachers have over female students19 and v) The fact that male teachers are seen as sometimes actively discriminatory towards girls. This means that until an adequate number of female teachers is assured, it will not be possible to achieve universal female enrolment, even if all the other factors have been fully addressed. The above is confirmed by research based on data from 226 districts (out of a total of 233 districts) in Yemen focusing on students clustered in three groups for Grades 1-3, 4-6 and 7920.
This research proves that for higher grades, the relationship between female teachers and female students is very strong, and therefore the enrolment of female students is more subject to the availability of female teachers. When there is no female teacher, 40% of students are female at G1-3 level but only 22% in grades 7-9. The research results also show an exponential trend between the presence of female teachers and girls’ enrolment as the students get older grade goes higher. The impact of increasing female teachers is thus the highest on female enrolment at G7-9. Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen 5 Figure 3: Relationship between share of female teachers and female students for grades 1-3 and 7-9 0. 70 Relationship between Share of Female Teachers and Female Students for Grade 1- 3, by District, 2004/ 05 y = 0. 0991x + 0. 4117 2 R = 0. 0994 0. 70 0. 60 0. 50 0. 50 Share of Female Students Share of Female Students 0. 60 Relationship between Share of Female Teachers and Female Students y = 0. 4168x + 0. 223 for Grade 7- 9, by District, 2004/ 05 2 R = 0. 3118 0. 40 0. 30 0. 20 0. 10 0. 40 0. 30 0. 20 0. 10 0. 00 0. 00 0. 20 0. 40 0. 60 Share of Female Teachers 0. 80 1. 00 0. 00 0. 00 . 20 0. 40 0. 60 0. 80 1. 00 Share of Female Teachers Feedback from focus group discussions with parents and teachers from a village in Dhamar Governorate also revealed that the presence of just one female teacher in a school had a positive impact on the entire village. Women said that they would put their daughters in school and also re-enrol some of their elder daughters21. The availability of female teachers, therefore, has a major impact on girls’ education, both in enrolment and above all on retention. 5. 2 Correlation between more rural infrastructure development and Girls’ enrolment
Better distribution of schools: Evidence shows that the lack of a school near the home raises more concern for the safety and security of girls than boys. This is especially true in the case of Yemen, a traditional tribal society where the concepts of family honour are linked directly to the women in the household. Parents are less likely to allow girls to go to school than boys if the distance to school is substantial in their view22. In Egypt, for example, for communities located within 1km of a school, the average enrolment rate is 94 per cent for boys and 74 per cent for girls.
Where the distance is increased to 2km, boys’ enrolment barely falls, while girls’ enrolment drops by 10%23. Another source studying the link between distances and school attendance in Arab countries, confirms that ‘Students who trek a considerable distance to be part of the schooling process tend to drop out because of long distance and travel time increase the cost of schooling’24. Also in Yemen findings confirm that distance from school is inversely related to the prospects of girls going to school, especially after puberty.
Interviews held with parents and teachers in a small town (Yekar in Al Hadda district) as part of a study conducted in 1995, showed that the distance to the nearest preparatory and secondary school was a factor deterring parents from encouraging their daughters to continue school25. The earlier mentioned data from the 2004 Census and the 1999 Poverty Monitoring Survey showed that the 47. 5% of women from rural areas never enrolled in school was caused by the lack of nearby schools and 32% of girls dropped out of school due to same reason.
More girl’s-only schools: another factor that has to be taken into account when offering education and hence allocating schools is the availability of girls-only schools. International experience has shown that offering segregated education has a large impact on girls’ retention. One clear example of this is Iran where at present girls comprised 49% of the total Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen 16 student population. A steep increase in enrolment and retention of girls has been observed from 1979 when the country started to offer wide availability of segregated education. This increase resulted in a net intake rate of 97. % at primary school level, 90. 3% at lower secondary level in 2000. No research of this kind has been done in Yemen but the fact that both countries have the same cultural understanding of this issue supports the assumption that segregated schooling would have a positive impact on the retention of girls26. In 2002/03, 961,293 students were enrolled in segregated schools, of which almost half were girls, representing 26. 6% of all female students (compared to only 19. 4% of all male students). Almost half of all students in urban areas (44. 5% of boys and 48. 2% of girls) attended segregated schools compared to 9. 8% of boys and 13. % of girls in rural areas. These statistics reflects disparity in availability of such schools with significant rural-urban differences27. It can therefore be safely assumed that an active bias towards more rural infrastructure development will improve the access of girls to school. Investing in rural education sector development, does not only looks at the number of schools in rural versus urban areas, but especially takes into consideration the distances of the school from home and the availability of girls’ only schools after a certain age. 6. IMPACT OF CURRENT POLICIES 6. 1 Policy on teachers’ recruitment and deployment
As discussed above, the presence of female teachers has a direct impact on the enrolment and especially retention of girls. However, although within the MoE priority areas, increase in recruitment of female teachers is identified as a main concern, the current recruitment policies have not resulted in a significant increase in female teachers. Since 1999 the government began to adopt new strict recruitment policies aiming to minimize the volume of recruitment. Prior to this, all graduates from teacher colleges were recruited without any consideration of actual demand from the education sector.
The new policy was meant to cope with the disparity in staffing which had caused unprecedented inflation in the state’s administrative apparatus. 28 The government also decided to replace foreign teachers with local teachers (2003 –2004) and assigned the Ministry of Civil Service, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance to implement this decision. It is important to note that although foreign teachers (mainly from Sudan, Egypt and Iraq) were an important source of teachers in the early nineties, their number has decreased considerably over the last 15 years.
The cabinet also took decisions aimed to improve the quality of teaching. Since 2005 the standard minimum qualification to become a teacher is a university degree, although exceptions to this rule are allowed in isolated areas where no other qualified teachers apply. Another related development was the decision to close the regional teachers’ colleges and limit teachers’ training to few major urban areas to ensure quality control. This decision in the cultural and geographic context of Yemen is discouraging rural female students from enrolling.
Finally, another important policy decision, issued as a decree in May 2006, is to link a teacher’s post to school instead of to a person. This shift has the potential for a major impact. Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen 17 Previously, teachers were allowed to take the post with them when changing residential areas. Since rural posts are not very popular they are often used as a way to enter the system. The perception linked to this practice was that especially female teachers in rural posts would move away and take their posts with them when they get married.
Although this perception has not been confirmed with research data, educational authorities in two governorates mention that this factor discouraged them from hiring female teachers and preference was given to male teachers29. Since this decree is very recent, awareness of it is still low and the process of implementation has not yet commenced. Hence, the expected impact of this policy cannot be assessed for the moment; however, its proper implementation should be closely monitored.
In the following section, the above mentioned policy changes30 will be analyzed to assess their impact on recruitment of female teachers and hence the trends in the percentage of female teachers. National data from the Civil Service Department, the Ministry responsible for selecting and recruiting teachers, show that potential candidates for teacher’s posts have increased significantly over the last two years in all categories, including female candidates with university degrees. Table 6: Number of applicants for teaching within the governmental schools years 2005-2006 Year of recruitment registry request 2005 Gender Male Female
Bachelor License Diploma High School Total 13,945 1,108 20,664 1,437 37,154 13,784 1,186 5,779 4,721 24,470 % of Female 50% 52% 22% 77% 39% 2006 Total Male 27,729 24,603 2,294 1,752 26,443 23,058 6,158 2,759 62,624 52,172 Female 19,660 1,580 6,781 8,790 36,811 % of Female 44% 47% 23% 76% 41% Total 44,263 3,332 29,839 11,549 88,983 However, although the data demonstrate high numbers of potential female teachers in all categories, they do not identify the geographical distribution of these candidates. Having explored the availability of potential female teachers, the next step is to look into how the actual recruitment of teachers occurs.
Teachers are a substantial component of annual public service recruitment – in the range from 50-65% – and their recruitment involves a number of key ministries. Committees within the Ministry of Finance prepare ceilings for the state’s general budget each year. On that basis, and the recruitment needs expressed by the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Civil Service starts the recruitment process, with support of the local councils. Within the system the reported bottleneck is the disparity between the needs expressed by district and governorate education officers and the allocation decided higher up.
The decision makers justify their cuts by stating that numbers from the field are inflated while the District Education Officers report that they do not see the logic in the allocation decisions. Within this process there are no special recruitment policies targeting female teachers. Men and women compete for the same posts and since there is no system in place that guarantees an objective selection process, the applicants with most influence and economic resources are likely to obtain the position31.
In Yemeni society where women are less empowered than Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen 18 men, female teachers will have less access to the networks and resources needed for recruitment32. In addition, the cultural norms result in less flexibility for women to travel and work in remote places and to stay far from their family. It is not a custom in Yemen that a husband follows his wife to her workplace. Since no special incentives are given to overcome these obstacles, such as the provision of housing and extra financial ncentives, it is much less likely that a female teacher will apply for a rural post compared to a male teacher. The existing policy environment has resulted in a clear lack of presence of female teachers in rural areas. The latest data from the Ministry of Education indicates that female teachers account for only 22% of all teachers and the shortage of female teachers is particularly acute in rural areas where less than one–third (30%) of female teachers work. In 2003/04, only 6% of rural secondary teachers, and only about 10% of teachers in combined basic-secondary schools were female.
During 2005-06, only 9% of teachers currently involved in teaching in rural basic education schools are female (including those who are on permanent posts, contractual posts or who are lent to work as volunteers). The proportion is even lower in secondary schools (5. 2%) and combined basic/secondary schools (3. 6%). The situation is well illustrated by the sex ratios calculated in table 7 below: Table 7: Gender distribution of staff working in schools a (2003/04 ) urban schools rural schools Position male Director 1,115 504 % of females 31 Deputy 1,729 1,233 42
Female all schools 136 % of female 1. 6 198 3. 7 male female 8,397 5,173 27,153 27,892 51 109,394 9,829 Teachers Qualified 3,585 3,564 50 4,036 286 support 720 1,167 62 948 225 Workers Others 976 31 3 1,576 13 (watchmen, etc) 35,278 34,391 49 129,524 10,687 Total a These data cover MOE and private sector basic and secondary schools ** # of Male for 100 Female Source: MOE Statistical Yearbook 2003/2004 Table 14. 33 female total 9,512 640 10,152 % of female 6. 3 6,902 1,431 8,333 17. 1 8. 2 136,547 37,721 174,268 21. 7 6. 6 7,621 3,850 11,471 33 19. 1 1,668 1,392 3,060 5 0. 8 2,552 44 2,596 1. 7 7. 6 164,802 45,078 209,880 21 male Every year approximately 2,434 new teachers are recruited, representing about 1. 4% of the total teacher labour force which employs around 177,000 teachers34. However, the trend in recruitment has shown that newly recruited women represented a larger share over the last 2 years. The table below also shows that there has been an increase of female teachers in rural areas (+13%) but the number of female teachers is still very low: only 9% of all rural teachers during 2004-2005 school year were female.
On the other side there were more female than male teachers in urban areas during the last 2 school years while the overall proportion of female teachers in the country is still at 22%. This table shows that there have been much more female teachers recruited during the last two years (+ 3,303); however rural schools got only 18. 6% of the recruited teachers, while rural population counts 72% of the total population of Yemen and has a wide gap to fulfil before reaching a situation of equality. Accelerating girls’ education in Yemen 9 Table 8: Recruitment of teachers segregated rural-urban and male-female between 2000 to 2005 Year Total Urban Rural Total Female Male % of female Total Female Male % of female Total Female Male % of females 2000/2001 174,039 35,750 138,289 21% 56,097 26,511 29,586 47% 117,942 9,239 108,703 8% 2001/2002 166,725 33,439 133,286 20% 2002/2003 171,396 36,025 135,371 21% 54,776 26,915 27,861 49% 116,620 9,110 107,510 8% 2003/2004 174,538 37,737 136,801 22% 55,113 27,900 27,213 51% 119,425 9,837 109,588 8%