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Why Some Girls Go to School and Others Don’t
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Regional Science (CERUM).
2000 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Girls are in minority in primary schools in Mozambique, a pattern that can be seen in most Sub-Saharan countries. The aim of this qualitative study is to examine why there are few girls in the Mozambican schools. The area chosen for the field study is the small town Montepuez in the Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique and the school level is upper primary school, i.e. grade 6 and 7 . In the study, factors involved with whether or not girls go to school have been looked into and to some extent, a comparison between girls’- and boys’ schooling situation has been made. An attempt to identify patterns in both urban and rural areas regarding the education of girls has also been made. The theoretical framework consists of the constraints used in Timegeography: capability , coupling and authority constraints, but a few complementary theories have also been used: The life course theory, the importance of social networks and the value of cultural capital. The social situation differs between rural and urban areas and so does the schooling situation. Montepuez is a small town with both rural and urban characters and therefore a comparison between rural and urban schooling situations was partly made possible. The predominant activity is agriculture and most people are peasants, but still Montepuez is the district town with administrative posts, markets and shops. It has in this study been shown that a critical point in the school career for both girls and boys comes after grade five when they in order to continue school, have to move to town. This project is however less adventurous when it comes to boys’ education, but valid for both girls and boys is that a social network with relatives in town and the possession of cultural capital is an advantage. In rural Montepuez, school is not as important as other forms of education, such as the initiation rite, and there is no affinity to the school environment. The girls play important roles in the household and in the cultivation, both in town and on the countryside and it can therefore be difficult to find time for school activities. A major drop out cause pointed out by the respondents and informants was that in order to be properly dressed in school, it was common that girls found older boyfriend in order to pay for the clothes. This often resulted in pregnancy and the girls had to leave school anyway. The initiation rite is an important rite of passage in the girl’s lives and after this transition, school is no longer considered to be important for her. Many teachers take bribes in order to let the pupils pass the exam and the teachers here use their powerful position. The bribes consist of money, food or labour force and sexual favours. To give and take bribes seems to have become part of the social norm in school and the bribes increase with the size of the town. 4 Why Some Girls Go to School and Others Don’t The matter of girls’ schooling is full of nuances and has to be understood within a general social context where the factors interact, as one ’cause’ can or will lead to another.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. , 67 p.
, CERUM Working Paper, ISSN 1400-4526 ; 19
Keyword [en]
education, Mozambique, girls, time-geography, lifecourse, social network, cultural capital, urban area
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-24738OAI: diva2:227347
Awarded the 1999 Gösta Skoglund Prize for the best paper in the field of regional science presented at a department within Umeå University.Available from: 2009-07-13 Created: 2009-07-10 Last updated: 2012-04-04Bibliographically approved

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Helgesson, Linda
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