GAGE reveals adolescent challenges in Ethiopia

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ADDIS ABABA – Despite remarkable progresses in school enrollment, access to health services and tackling gender norms, significant hurdles remain in supporting adolescent well-being and ensuring their full potential Gender and Adolescent Global Evidence (GAGE), said. “Capitalizing on the second decade of life to fast-track young people’s development and promote broader social change is increasingly recognized as a not to be missed opportunity for governments and practitioners.

But there is much more we need to learn about what sorts of programmes and services are most effective for adolescent girls and boys,” said Dr. Nicola Jones, Director of the GAGE Program. The six reports showcase findings from research with 6,800 adolescent boys and girls aged 10 to 19 years and their caregivers living in rural and urban settings to better understand their experiences and perspectives. Adolescents’ and parents’ educational and economic aspirations are high.

Of those surveyed, 94 percent would like to attend at least secondary school and majorities are aiming for personal careers. However, adolescents and parents have only limited understanding of practical steps to realize aspirations, she added. According to the report, there are significant barriers to accessing quality services, especially for most marginalized adolescents such as those living in remote rural communities, married girls, adolescents with disabilities and internally displaced communities.

Poverty, distance to services, overcrowded classrooms and limited capacity among teachers to adopt positive disciplines, violence within the home, schools and communities and inadequate training for service providers are key challenges to interact effectively with adolescents.

GAGE suggested that evidenceinformed approaches to advance adolescent responsive policy frameworks and related programming across key sectors of education, health, justice, labor, social protection, and ways in which these can reach the most vulnerable adolescents across the country.

The Ethiopian Herald, May 23/2019

BY TSEGAYE TILAHUN