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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - PhD
Title The schooling experiences of Fulani Muslim girls in the Fouta Djallon region of Guinea: Forces influencing their retention in a rural secondary school of Dalaba
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2004
Page numbers 0-0
URL http://etd.ohiolink.edu/send-pdf.cgi/Balde Aissatou MBambe.pdf?ohiou1103142410
The evidence that people have access to education is that they take part in educational programs (Sutton, 1995). Equality of access to schooling is measured by participation rates for both men and women. In most of the sub-Saharan African countries schools are open to all, however, girls in their large majority, continue to be out of school (Commission on the Status of Women, 1995; UNESCO, 2002; World Bank 2000). Researchers have identified barriers to girls’ education in the sub-Saharan African region and categorized them into economic, socio-cultural, and school factors. The literature on the factors influencing Muslim girls’ education at the secondary level is however scarce. This study seeks to contribute ethnography of the forces behind the lack of retention of Fulani Muslim girls in a secondary school of Dalaba, Guinea.

A qualitative method of inquiry was utilized to gather the data. The data was collected in Dalaba, Guinea, over three months period. Eight Fulani Muslim girls and women took part in this study as well as their parents and some educational leaders. The hirde , a Fulani socio-cultural context, was a central instrument in the data collection process. Other data collection strategies included open-ended interviews, observations and review of policy documents.

The findings of the study suggest that dissemination and implementation of gender sensitive policies; the tradition, or finna tawaa ; poverty; and school related factors were found impeding Muslim Fulani girls’ education in Dalaba. The ideology around curing and blessing helps the perpetuation of a social status quo that is oppressive to girls and women. The dichotomy between the informal socialization process and the formal education system and the practices of cultural norms in the school were central to informants abandoning their schooling. The language problem in school, administrators and teachers authoritarian attitudes, the lack of transparency and accountability in student grading system, and the disconnect between the school and the community are major issues that continue to hold back the potential of Muslim Fulani girl students.

This study provided a context for informants’ voices to be heard in educational discourses that very often deny them a voice and take place in contexts where informants do not have access.

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Copyright DataFirst, University of Cape Town