SUPPORTING CHILDREN'S LEARNING IN MADAGASCAR
THE MAMIKO SECONDARY SCHOOL
the students of the mamiko secondary school during an exam
Most children in rural Madagascar drop out school past grade 5. In fact, as reported by the United Nations Development Programme, in Madagascar only 37% of secondary school-age population is enrolled in secondary school (UNDP, 2017).
The high drop out rate past primary school is due to a combination of poverty and the lack of of quality secondary schools in rural villages. Public secondary schools in rural areas, if available, generally have a very high student-teacher ratio and incredibly limited access to teaching resources.
With no or very poor quality secondary schools available in the village, rural households tend either to keep their children home (where they can help their parents in agriculture, fishing, husbandry, or with domestic work) or to send them to a better quality secondary school in the nearest town (the nearest town often being a several hours drive away). The latter option, however, is very expensive, because the family has to pay not only for four years of school fees, but also for an accommodation in town. Moreover, children often live in host families and pay a rent, which exposes the children, especially girls, to the risk of exploitation for domestic services or sexual abuse. Lack of access to transport and communication (mobile phones are too expensive for poor families) makes the situation even more dangerous.
To improve this situation, in November 2018 the Mamiko school started the first two grades of secondary school, allowing for about 25 children in Djangoa to stay in school past grade 5, and not drop out (as had been the situation prior). This has been possible with the financial support of Boky Mamiko, who pays the salaries of the five secondary school teachers. By October 2021 the number of students enrolled in the Mamiko secondary school was 46.