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Girls' Improved Learning Outcomes (GILO)

GILO is a three-year, USAID-funded project which aims to increase the educational enrollment and achievement of girls in basic, primary, and preparatory schools in Egypt.

GILO girls
GILO girls in class.

World Education Egypt works in partnership with members of a consortium led by the Research Triangle Institute (RTI), which also includes Keys for Effective Learning, CID Consulting, Inc., and Infonex. The consortium works with multiple stakeholders to support the implementation of Egypt's strategy of School-Based Reform (SBR) in local communities and idarras (districts), in four governorates in Upper Egypt: Minia, Qena, Fayoum, and Beni Suef. GILO’s key stakeholders include: students, parents, teachers, school administrators and supervisors, school Boards of Trustees (BOTs), community representatives, and the staff of concerned government agencies at district, governorate, and national levels.

World Education Egypt’s Work through GILO

As a member of the GILO consortium, World Education Egypt leads GILO to increase community, parent, and women’s engagement in education. Key goals through GILO are to expand equitable access to and coverage of K-9 education for all children, especially girls, improve school management and administration, and broaden community participation in education to ensure accountability for quality improvement at the school level. More specifically, World Education Egypt provides communities and schools with the capacity to:

• Expand equitable access to and coverage of K-9 education for children, especially girls, through innovative expansion programs that introduce alternative construction and maintenance solutions such as add-on and multi-grade classrooms.
• Sustain quality improvements at the school level through the implementation of School Self Assessments (SSAs) and School Improvement Plans (SIPs), and community/school-based maintenance programs.
• Strengthen the management and governance of education in the targeted schools and districts through increased parental, community, and civil society participation in supporting education.
• Practice effective leadership and governance, educational management, and improved administration and management through the successful use of data for decision-making with new school-based management information systems (MIS).

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Mobilizing and Strengthening Community Participation in Educational Improvement for Girls

Community participation may be considered the capstone in building and sustaining lasting education reform and good governance in schools. World Education has worked for more than ten years in Egypt to strengthen the institutional mechanisms that facilitate community involvement in school governance and reform. First through expanding the role of Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) under the New Schools Program (NSP), then through establishing and reviving the BOTs throughout participating schools under the Education Reform Program (ERP).

Through GILO, World Education Egypt strengthens the role and functioning of school BOTs by building capacity of district and school social workers to train BOT members on roles and responsibilities and capacity building for good governance in schools, with special emphasis in the areas of improved girls’ access and participation. Because the BOT is a democratically elected body, the members will change over time. By establishing the role of the district and school social workers as school-based BOT trainers World Education Egypt further strengthens the institutionalization of the BOT at the school and district levels.

To increase the role of women’s participation and leadership under the GILO, World Education Egypt has worked with target communities and schools to establish and mobilize each school’s BOT through democratic elections that are inclusive to women and which emphasize the need for equitable access for girls as well as boys. As an additional support to the work of the BOTs and to further strengthen and increase the role of women and communities in education, World Education Egypt has established Community Education Teams (CETs) in all GILO-supported schools and communities in the four Upper Egypt governorates listed above. CETs are established as a nonformal, temporary body to increase community participation in education by raising awareness of the benefits of education, of the challenges facing local schools, and of the role and mandate of the school BOTs. CETs can also serve as a catalyst for activating and mobilizing BOTs and increased women’s participation in supporting and leading education reform.

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Practicing Effective Leadership in GILO Schools

Effective school leadership is much broader than administration, but school administrators most often see their roles strictly as managers or administrators. The scope of their work revolves around a series of routine tasks such as: maintaining school attendance lists and school schedules (teachers absentees/attendance), keeping records and reporting to the districts, logistics administration for exams (redistributing furniture and preparing rooms for exams), and other similar mandatory responsibilities.

World Education Egypt’s School Leadership programs pushes school administrators to think beyond basic administration, to begin to see themselves as leaders with vision. A key element of this process is to engage leadership support from outside the small school administration circle (principal, vice-principal, senior teachers, social workers, etc.) to involve members of the BOT and other influential school-community individuals and groups, including women.

World Education Egypt builds the capacity of traditional school administrators, especially the school principal and vice-principal, to act as facilitators to engage these school leaders to participate together in strategic planning for education improvements. World Education Egypt also supports and builds sustainability for school governance and leadership trainings by working with schools to provide technical support in the use of data for decision-making, including planning for the establishment of school management information systems for all project-supported schools. Through this process, school leaders learn to expand their vision and purpose beyond their daily tasks to run school operations, and to refocus their priorities on the broader goals of student learning that is equitable (for girls as well as boys), relevant, and of high quality. They learn to think more strategically, to stimulate change and increase equal opportunity for learning, to provide enhanced support for their teachers, staff, and students, to communicate progress to improve learning outcomes, and to use their resources – human as well as physical – more efficiently.

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