From 2016–2018, The Superwoman DREAMS-Innovation challenge a cooperative agreement funded by Department of State and managed by John Snow Inc, bolstered country efforts to keep girls in schools and reverse dropout rate in secondary schools in Gomba and Gulu districts. The baseline survey conducted for the Superwoman project showed that the dropout rate of school girls at secondary school level in Gulu district among the target schools was 13.7% whereas the annual dropout rate in Gomba district among the target schools was 14.9%. Bearing in mind that the Ministry of Education considers an annual dropout rate of over 10% as too high; we therefore set out as an objective to reverse the annual dropout rate in the beneficiary schools to under 10% over the project life. Literature review revealed that girls in secondary Schools under the Uganda government’s Universal Secondary Education (U.S.E) program – which makes secondary school education accessible to the poor in rural areas – face a higher risk of dropping out of school because of: lack of money to sustain their education, the draw to early marriage for economic security, the prospect of gainful work to escape the poverty trap, and the lack of family and society support for girl child education.
The project focused its intervention in twelve (12) schools found in two districts of Uganda namely; Gulu and Gomba.
These schools were identified by Wizarts Foundation in conjunction with the district leadership of each district as those with high rates of absenteeism and dropout. All these schools are under the Uganda government’s Universal Secondary Education (U.S.E) program – which makes secondary school education accessible to the poor in rural areas.