A lack of female teachers in rural mountain schools can be a major cause of gender gaps in enrolment and retention rates, especially for girls nearing puberty as they require mentoring and support from female teachers.

The absence of responsible and active women leaders also creates a significant barrier to education for students whose parents are understandably uncomfortable at the prospect of allowing their child into an environment without female support. Stay At School believes that providing strong women leaders is one way to get more girls into school and to keep them there.

Central to us undertaking to work in any community, is the agreement of the school to place a Stay At School female teacher on the team. This teacher not only stands as a positive role model to all students but assumes pastoral responsibility for the girls resident in the boarding house. She can meet their social and developmental needs and be on hand to support the expected challenges faced by older girls. The presence of a strong woman leader offers the reassurance parents need that the welfare of their daughters is paramount.

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