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UNICEF Helps Tajik Girls Return to School
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UNICEF Helps Tajik Girls Return to School

In the poorest parts of Tajikistan, young girls are most likely to miss out on a formal education. However, a new UNICEF program that emphasizes traditional life skills such as sewing and cooking alongside academic classes is encouraging rural families to send their daughters to school. 

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Produced by UNICEF Television.

Learn more about UNICEF's efforts to educate girls in Tajikistan.

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Segment 1

VOICEOVER
It's five in the morning in the apricot orchards of Isfara, Tajikistan, and the women are already working. It is the poorest of the post-Soviet republics with a stagnant economy. Most of the men from this valley are in Russia working, as there are no jobs for them here. With limited family income, the priority is to educate the boys in the family.
MUAZZAM HOMIDOVA [farm worker]
It is very difficult to give an education to the whole family because of poverty. We cannot send the girls to school because of the economic conditions and they have to buy textbooks, shoes. We need money for this.
VOICEOVER
Educated people cannot find work here, so a formal education for their daughters is seen as a burden and expensive. Families pull their daughters out of school to work in the fields alongside mothers and babies. UNICEF decided it needed a way to bring those girls back into the classroom.
IKRAM DAVNOROV [Child Development Officer, UNICEF]
The idea was to show school as a value. To attract, to bring back to school and show them that school gives something for future life.
VOICEOVER
To attract girls back with the approval of the family, UNICEF created a Life Skills Education Program. Parents allow the girls to return to school because as well as academic classes, they learn practical domestic skills valued by traditional rural families.
ZORIGINAVA MADINA [schoolgirl]
My parents allowed me to come to school because I would learn sewing classes and cooking lessons.
VOICEOVER
Linking life skills to education persuades parents to allow their girls back into school. Once there, they also receive a formal education. The school environment teaches them teamwork, communication, and interpersonal skills. Life Skills Education is more than just sewing and cooking. They also learn about AIDS, conflict resolution, and negotiating skills. Getting these girls back into the school is the hard part. Once inside, their natural curiosity and urge to learn takes over. This is Vladimir Lozinski reporting for UNICEF Television. Unite for children.