The intervention stems from the desire of the INDENA company, which has imported Asian pennywort from Madagascar for several years in collaboration with the PRO.NA.MA company, to contribute to the socio-economic development of the Alaotra Mangoro region (main harvesting centre).
Following the socio-political crisis of 2009, the education sector in Madagascar has deteriorated: families have difficulty sending their children to school and the main education indicators have dropped. The priorities of the government include the schooling of children excluded from the formal education system, however the lack of financial resources is a serious barrier.
As for the Aloatra Mangoro region, about 25% of children between 6 and 10 have never attended school, and the school dropout rate is very high even for those who have had the opportunity to study.
The harvest of pennywort is an essential source of income for agricultural workers. Feeding the family is always the priority, while the schooling of children is neglected. The efforts of school administrators, teachers, and local authorities are not enough, and the too limited support of the state does not allow the development of education in the region. School administrators and teachers work in difficult conditions, and pupils in an unwelcoming environment.
The project seeks to improve the scholarisation rate in the region of Alaotra Mangoro.
“School for everyone” is carried out within the framework of a corporate social responsibility action started by Indena in favour of the communities where Italy imports Asian pennywort from. The first three years of intervention involved 5 primary schools in the districts of Ambatondrazaka and Amparafaravola. In light of the positive results and the region’s needs, the intervention was extended for three more years, raising the number of target schools from 5 to 10.
The intervention strategies take into account the following aspects.
- The activities bring direct, immediate benefit to students, families, teachers, and schools. In particular, they make it possible to reduce the expenses of families for the education of their children, equip teachers with more suitable teaching materials, and improve the school environment.
- The distribution of material becomes an opportunity to establish a relationship with the beneficiary schools; constant monitoring will check school attendance throughout the year and identify the most frequent problems in schools.
- Sustainability: activities must include local participation and the dynamics of the communities involved. Education officials in the region (particularly at the district level) will be involved in the progress of the activities.
1. Distribution of school kits
Pupils will receive the supplies necessary for the school year. Given the current policy on inclusive education, each pupil, without exception, will receive the material.
2. Distribution of kits for teachers
Teachers will receive materials to best carry out their job.
3. Didactic material
To remedy the shortage, schools will be equipped with educational material.
4. Improvement of school premises
In the first three years, the project focused on the improvement of school environments (bathrooms, wells, structural adjustments, etc…), while in the following three years works are planned for supplying access to water (wells and pumps) to schools that do not have it.
5. Teacher training
Training courses (pedagogy, French, environment, nutrition and health) will be organised for teachers with the support of experienced pedagogists.
6. Social communication
Since radio is particularly popular in Madagascar, radio messages will be broadcast during the most critical periods, in order to raise parents’ awareness on the importance of children’s school attendance.
7. Parents’ school
It will be implemented for all 10 schools involved, in order to make parents more involved in their children’s education.