The Ministry of Education, in partnership with Building Learning Foundations (BLF), a UK Aid-funded programme, is planning to scale up Girls’ Clubs in all public and government-aided schools. The £25 million programme, which began in 2017, was established to establish the foundations for learning in government primary schools. It is focused on early-grade English and numeracy and is due to end in September 2023. ALSO READ: Girls’ education: What are the milestones? Girls’ Clubs are designed to provide a space to tackle barriers specific to girls, like developing life skills, empowering girls to make informed decisions about school and their future, as well as building confidence, self-esteem and personal resilience. Since 2021, Girls’ Clubs have been piloted in 42 schools across 10 districts in Rwanda. It is planned that after the pilot phase, and after the Girls’ Club curriculum has been finalised, the approach will be scaled up for all schools in Rwanda as part of a whole-school approach to gender. Alicia Herbert, the Director for Education, Gender and Equality at UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) who is attending the Women Deliver summit, applauded the efforts of the government of Rwanda in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in general. She visited a Girls Club at GS Mburabuturo, a government school located in Kigali benefitting from the programme. ALSO READ: Empowering teen girls key to gender equality - Women Deliver boss “I was in Rwanda in 2018 when the language of instruction was recently changed to English and I could see how difficult it was for the teachers and learners. However, coming back here a few years later, I am impressed to see that the performance has improved across P1 to P3 performance in English and Mathematics by over 57 per cent thanks to the FCDO-funded programme that has worked with the Ministry of Education to make this happen,” she noted. ALSO READ: New deal to help improve education quality Early end-line results show that gains in the English subject were greatest for P3; a 66 per cent increase from baseline of 17 per cent to 83 per cent by end-line. Boys and girls continued to perform similarly in English (77 per cent of boys grade proficient compared to 76 per cent of girls). Gains in Mathematics were greatest for P1; a 35 per cent increase from baseline of 36 per cent to 71 per cent by end line. Director General in the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) in charge of Policy Analysis, Rose Baguma, said in order to achieve gender parity in education, Rwanda reviewed the Girls Education Policy which UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) supported. “We believe that the Girls’ Education Policy will serve as a roadmap to achieving quality education for all. The main reason we reviewed the policy was to ensure that it aligns with the global trends and national priorities,” she said. She reiterated that the Ministry of Education has been working with Building Learning Foundations (BLF) to create an enabling system for Girls' Education Work in Rwanda. “The system is ready to remove barriers that affect girls such as stigma, social norms, violence, and poverty among others,” she added. Mathias Sindayigaya, the head teacher of GS Mburabuturo, commended the programme for improving English and Mathematics teachers in P1-P5, as well as mathematics essential learning materials and textbooks that are helping learners. “The programme of Girls Clubs at my school is empowering the most vulnerable girls to become better performers and it has increased self-esteem and confidence,” he said.