Girls Model Junior High School

  • P Project/Program

A Active

Key Information

In 2008 Oxfam partnered with Ghana Education Service, the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba district, and local communities to build a junior high school in the northern province of Sawla to tackle barriers preventing girls from finishing their educations. We aimed to demonstrate that safe, girl-friendly schools would empower girls and motivate them to stay in school—and maybe even pursue higher education. The first Girls Model Junior High School opened in Sawla in 2008, targeting girls from the poorest families. All 28 enrolled girls passed their final exams, and 24 went on to attend senior high school. In 2013, a sister school was established in the Kpandai district. By March 2018—a decade after the project began—there were 44 schools in districts across northern Ghana. They are all financed and administered by local authorities. The schools have taken a novel approach to pedagogy. Teaching is based on learner-centered methodologies. For example, the girls form study groups in the evenings. Parents are invited to support the girls’ education through school management committees. Computers are integrated into lessons, and teachers are trained to encourage the girls to participate actively in the classroom, and even to challenge teachers with individual points of view. These schools go beyond the national curriculum to address sexual health and life skills. Ninety-five percent of the girls registered at the Girls Model Junior High Schools have graduated, and the majority are continuing their education. In the schools’ surrounding communities, girls constitute just 10% of the children who graduate from junior high school.

Lead Implementing Government(s)



Sub-Saharan Africa


Government Affiliation

Government-affiliated program


2008 -


Not applicable or unknown

Ministry Affiliation

Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba district

COVID-19 Response


Geographic Scope


Areas of Work Back to Top

Education areas


  • Secondary completion
  • Secondary Enrollment

Other skills

  • Life skills/sexuality education
  • Social and emotional learning


  • School facilities


  • Other academic performance-related

Cross-cutting areas

  • Adolescent pregnancy/childbearing
  • Digital literacy
  • Early/child marriage
  • Gender equality
  • Social and gender norms and beliefs

Program participants

Target Audience(s)

Girls in school, Youth


Not applicable or unknown

School Enrolment Status

All in school

School Level

  • Lower secondary
  • Upper secondary

Other populations reached

  • Fathers
  • Mothers
  • Other caregivers
  • Parent-teacher associations/school management committees
  • Teachers - female
  • Teachers - male

Participants include

  • N/A

Program Approaches Back to Top


  • Gender-sensitive curricula

Educational Technology

  • Digital devices for the purposes of studying, learning

Facilities construction/improvement

  • Construction/improvement of schools

Life skills education

  • Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE)
  • Gender, rights and power

Program Goals Back to Top

Education goals

  • Curricula, teaching and learning materials are free of gender-bias and stereotypes
  • Gender parity and non-discrimination are promoted at all subjects/education levels
  • Improved academic skills (literacy and numeracy)
  • Improved critical thinking
  • Increased grade attainment
  • Increased school completion (general)
  • Increased years of schooling
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Teachers and learners have the knowledge and skills to promote gender equality

Cross-cutting goals

  • Changed social norms
  • Improved critical consciousness
  • Increased knowledge of rights
  • More equitable gender attitudes and norms
  • Reduced child marriage