Français

Script 57.7

Notes to broadcasters

Main message of this broadcast: Girls and boys should have the same opportunities to attend school. Often, girls are taken out of school to help with the work at home, or to look after younger children.  This drama gives some suggestions about how girls can attend school and still help at home, and illustrates the benefits to families of educating both their sons and daughters.

Suggestions: Please change the names of the characters to names found in your culture.  There are other words that should also be changed to words or phrases common to your community.  For example, in each culture there are either formal or informal associations that are “women’s meetings.”  Use a term that will be familiar to your listeners instead.  Another example is “baobab tree.”  These trees are common in some African countries but not everywhere.  Substitute “baobab” with the name of a big shady tree that is common to rural areas in your country.  You will find other words that you may want to replace.  Make the changes so that your listeners can understand the characters, the places and things in this script.

Script

Characters

Narrator:
This can be the program host.
Mrs. Wanza:
Woman farmer.
Elizabeth:
Mrs. Wanza’s new daughter-in-law.
Mrs. Zulu:
Woman farmer, and a friend of Mrs. Wanza.

Narrator:
Mrs. Wanza is very happy — her eldest son Mackson has just got married! Mackson and his wife, Elizabeth, are now living with Mrs. Wanza. Elizabeth is new to this village — her family’s home is a half-day walk away.

Mrs. Wanza is eager to introduce her son’s wife to all her friends. Many of her friends will be at today’s women’s meeting. Mrs. Wanza and Elizabeth have just finished all their morning chores. Let’s join them on their walk as they hurry to attend their women’s meeting in good time.

Elizabeth:
Mother, where are we going for the women’s meeting?

Mrs. Wanza:
The women’s meeting is at our school.

Elizabeth:
School? I didn’t know this village had a school. I thought everyone went to the school in Bekale.

Mrs. Wanza:
Bekale — oh yes, in the old days, our children went to that school — but it was too far. It was not safe for our daughters to walk such a long distance. And, during the rains, very few children wanted to walk, every day, all the way to Bekale. So, we mothers asked the elders to build a community school right here in our own village.

Elizabeth:
Really, how did you find the money to build an entire school?

Mrs. Wanza:
We asked different government officials and community agency workers for money to build the school. But it was taking too much time. The elders were tired of the mothers always asking for the school. So they asked everyone in the village to contribute their time, money and labour. We built our own school.

Elizabeth:
The village built the school?

Mrs. Wanza:
Yes, it is a simple building — but it is enough to keep our children dry during the rains. In the dry season, many of the classes are under the shade of the baobab tree. A building is not so important. What is important is that the children gather together every day to learn their lessons.

Wait, I see my good friend, Mrs. Zulu!

Mrs. Wanza:
Mrs. Zulu, how are you and your family today?

Mrs. Zulu:
I am very fine, how are you and your family?

Mrs. Wanza:
We are all fine. Thank you for asking. Please let me introduce you to my daughter-in-law Elizabeth. Elizabeth, this is my very good friend Mrs. Zulu.

Mrs. Zulu:
I am pleased to meet you Elizabeth. I saw you at your wedding. You were a beautiful bride. Mrs. Wanza is very proud that her eldest son has married an educated girl.

Mrs. Wanza:
And how is your eldest daughter, Mrs. Zulu? Elizabeth, Mrs. Zulu’s daughter finished all her schooling. I think she even went to university, didn’t she, Mrs. Zulu?

Mrs. Zulu:
Yes, my daughter has spent many years at school! My eldest son went straight into business after primary school. But not my daughter! At first, we thought it very strange for a girl to spend so much time on studies. Now, we have stopped complaining. Our daughter has a very good job and sends us money every month. My husband and I are very proud of her!

Mrs. Wanza:
Yes, a daughter can take very good care of her family and her husband’s family if she has a good job! Elizabeth, remember I told you about the school we built in our village. Well, Mrs. Zulu’s daughter is now an important government person. She convinced the government to help us get a water pump for our school. Mrs. Zulu’s daughter has not forgotten her village! Are you coming to the women’s meeting, Mrs. Zulu? It should be starting soon.

Mrs. Zulu:
Yes, I am coming. First I must finish my chores. I will meet you at the school. It was good to meet you, Elizabeth.

Mrs. Wanza:
Hurry Mrs. Zulu! We would not want to start the meeting without you! We will see you at the school!
MUSICAL BREAK.

Narrator:
Mrs. Wanza and Elizabeth make their way to the women’s meeting at the school — past the stream, through Mr. Talo’s garden, and up the hill. On top of the hill there is a clear view of the village.

Down below, there are many children shouting and playing near the school. There is a water pump with children lined up to fill their buckets. Every day, when the children finish their lessons, they are allowed to take one or two buckets filled with water to their families. Only school children and teachers are permitted to use the water pump — except during the dry season. Then every one can use the water pump.

Mrs. Wanza and Elizabeth walk down the hill toward the school.

MUSICAL BREAK/SOUND EFFECTS (SOUNDS OF CHILDREN PLAYING).

FADE OUT AS DIALOGUE BEGINS.

Elizabeth:
There are so many children here!

Mrs. Wanza:
(LAUGHING) Yes, many of the younger children here are not taking lessons. They are coming from the child care centre.

Elizabeth:
Child care centre? What is that?

Mrs. Wanza:
See that white house over there — the house with goats in the front? That’s Mr. Ambo’s home. He has eight children.

Elizabeth:
(INTERRUPTING) Eight children! He must be very rich!

Mrs. Wanza:
Blessed with children, yes. But not rich. All the children work in the fields. The older daughters take care of the younger ones. But, when Mr. Ambo saw all these children going to school, near his home — he wanted his sons to attend.

Elizabeth:
Only his sons?

Mrs. Wanza:
Yes, only his sons. But you could tell the way his daughters watched the children at the school that they wanted to be there too.

Elizabeth:
It must have been terrible for the girls seeing all the other children doing something that they were not allowed to do.

Mrs. Wanza:
Well, things soon changed. Mr. Ambo met Mrs. Zulu’s daughter when she came to visit the school. I think he had heard from neighbours that Mrs. Zulu’s daughter gave her parents money to start up a small shop. She has also married a rich husband.

SOUND EFFECTS (SOUNDS OF CHILDREN TALKING AND LAUGHING AS THEY RUN).

Mrs. Wanza:
Mr. Ambo must have thought that the best chance of becoming rich would be by educating all his children. Because one day, Mrs. Ambo came to our women’s meeting and announced that her husband wanted both his sons AND daughters to go to school. Poor Mrs. Ambo did not know how all the household chores would be completed without the girls helping her.

Elizabeth:
Yes, girls must help their mothers by looking after the younger children, and with all the work that needs to be done — especially during harvesting time.

Mrs. Wanza:
Well, we women talked and talked about this. How could we have a village school where both girls and boys could attend AND still be able to help their families? Many women said that they had the same problem as Mrs. Ambo. That’s when we decided to form the child care centre.

Elizabeth:
Oh, I understand now. The child care centre looks after the children who are too young to attend classes, so their mothers can still do the chores.

Mrs. Wanza:
Yes, that’s right, Elizabeth. Now mothers can send their daughters to school and not worry about having to look after the youngest children. Also, the school now starts later in the morning so that the children have time to help their mother with household chores. And, during harvesting time, the children have a school break so that they can help their parents in the field.

Elizabeth:
I can’t believe all the things that this village does so that the children will attend school. In my village, it was very hard for me to finish primary school. My father insisted that I finish school. All my other friends dropped out of school after the first or second year. Most of them now have three or four children.

My father said: “Do not worry, Elizabeth, it is better to marry later and find a good husband. If you have fewer children, you and your husband will be able to feed all of them. And you, the educated mother can help them to learn how to read and write as they grow older.”

Mrs. Wanza:
Your father is a very wise man, Elizabeth! In fact, I encouraged my son to choose you as a wife because you have an education. I want my future grandchildren to be smart and healthy. Do you think that you can help with our school?

Elizabeth:
How can I help?

Mrs. Wanza:
Well, you can teach the children in the lower classes, or you could help with the child care centre. We also have literacy classes for the parents — you could help teach them to learn to read and write. Have you thought of finishing your secondary school requirements, Elizabeth?

Elizabeth:
Well yes, I have, but now that I’m married …..

Mrs. Wanza:
You are still young. You should finish your schooling. I will talk to my son. If you finish secondary school there is a good chance that you can find a job outside the village. Or, you could help us start a family business. There are so many more opportunities for a young lady with an education! Come let us go inside and join the meeting.

Narrator:
Do you think Mrs. Wanza is right? Is it good for our daughters to go to school? What can you do in your community to make it possible for girls to go to school?

Acknowledgements

Contributed by:  Moira Simpson, Researcher/Writer, Windsor, Canada.

Reviewed by:  Beth Miller, Gender Specialist, Heifer Project International, Arkansas, USA.

Information Sources

“The control of girls,” Shahidul Alam, The New Internationalist, No. 225, November 1991, pp. 15-17.

“Gender canyon,” Charlotte Carlsson, The New Internationalist, No. 315, August 1999, pp. 12-16.

Girls, schools and limits to change,” Nadine Cammish and Colin Brock, IDS — Insights, Issue #9, March 1999.

How to help the girls in the countryside to know their need for education,” Anna Felix, FAWE NEWS, Vol. 7 No. 3, 1999.

Increasing girls and women’s participation in basic education, Nelly P. Stromquist, No. 56, UNESCO — International Institute for Educational Planning, Paris, 1997.

Education is a Right (UNICEF)

SAFE — Save a Female through Education

State of the World’s Children 1999 — Education (UNICEF)

FAWE — Forum for African Women Educationalists