Sara Stays in School

Children and youthGender equalitySocial issues

Notes to broadcasters

When girls go to school everybody in the family benefits. If children in the family have a basic education they can help their parents on the farm by reading information about new farming practices, and by reading instructions on seed packages and fertilizer bags.

Note : Scripts 1 and 2 of this package can be used together or separately. They tell parts of the same story in a different way.  Sometimes, presenting similar information in different ways will reinforce your message.



Sara (a young girl of about 13)
Sara’s father
Sara’s mother
Agricultural extension worker


: Sara, your mother and I have been talking about your future. In a few years it will be time for you to be married. So there is really not any reason for you to stay in school.

: (anxiously) But father, I want to stay in school. I am studying hard so that some day I can be a teacher. And I am not sure I will be ready for marriage in a few years!

: You know, Sara, that the dowry we receive from your new husband’s family will be a big help to us.

: (crying) But isn’t it true that I am helpful to you here, working around the house and in the fields?

: Sara — of course you are a big help. There there, please don’t cry.


SOUND EFFECTS (Sounds of food preparation. Cheerful atmosphere.).

: Sara, hurry and get your father’s tea. He will be tired from his journey.

: Hello. What a long journey it was! The bus broke down half way to town and we had to wait for another. But I did go to the shop and I have ordered the fertilizer we need for our tea crop.

: How many bags did you order?

: I ordered 6 bags — the same as last year.

: But father — only 6 bags? I think you need 10 bags of fertilizer for a good crop of tea.

: Sara, why do you say that?

: I read the a booklet about growing tea that the agricultural extension worker gave us. It said that farmers should use 20 bags for every hectare of land. Your tea plot measures one half of a hectare. So I calculated that you should use 10 bags of fertilizer.

: Good for you Sara! You are really learning your math at school.

: Hmmmmm… Well, I don’t know if I can afford 10 bags of fertilizer. Mind you, if I could get the money from your wedding dowry…

: Father, no!!

MUSICAL BREAK (3 seconds).

FADE IN SOUNDS OF COUNTRYSIDE (Birds singing, roosters crowing).

Extension worker
: Good day to you, sir. I’ve just been around to have a look at your plot of tea. The crop is looking very healthy. Much better than last year. (laughing) Did you perform some kind of magic!

: My daughter, Sara, read the information you brought about the fertilizer. She was able to calculate how much fertilizer I should use. She said I should apply 10 bags of fertilizer to my half hectare plot. So I did. I think that was just the right amount — not too much, not too little.

Extension worker
: Well, you can thank your daughter for what will probably be a very good harvest — perhaps double what you got last year. This is one of the best crops I have seen in the region. You are a wise man to keep your daughter in school.

: Well, to be honest, sir, my wife and I were thinking that Sara should soon be married. I could use the dowry money to buy more fertilizer.

Extension worker:
With all due respect, sir, I think you will find that it is worth more to keep Sara in school. You see how she has already helped you increase your profit? You will probably double your money this year.

: Well, I don’t know… it is a big decision.

Extension worker
: And some day she may become a teacher or a doctor. Girls usually do very well in school. My own daughter is a teacher now. (laughing) She makes more money than I do! And she helps to support my wife and me.

: Well, I don’t know…I will have to talk to my wife.

: Yes, do think about it. I will bring you more information and booklets about new farming methods. I will also bring a loan application so you can apply for money to buy more fertilizer. Sara can help you complete the application. Together I think you and Sara will be able to make more money from your farm.

: I will discuss this with my wife — and then we can talk again. Thank you, sir. Until next time.


: It has been a very good harvest. I have harvested twice as much tea as usual. And Sara, I have made twice as much money, so I can afford to pay your school fees this year.

: Of course Sara helped you make that extra money, because she could read and do math.

: I am just happy that I can stay at school. Some day I will be a teacher.

: Yes, and if you continue to work hard at your studies, learning math and reading and writing, you will be a big help to us on the farm.


– END –


  • Contributed by: Jennifer Pittet, Researcher/Writer, Toronto, Canada.
  • Reviewed by: Hélène Chiasson, PhD, Urgel Delisle et Associés Inc., Canada.

You can produce other programs about the importance of educating girls showing how:

  • An educated girl or woman has a better chance of protecting herself from AIDS
  • Girls who have gone to school will have healthier children
  • Girls who have gone to school can start and manage successful small businesses

Information sources

  • State of the world’s children, Carol Bellamy, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 1999.
  • UNICEF Regional Offices:
    West and Central Africa: PO Box 443, Abidjan 04, Cote d’Ivoire
    Eastern and Southern Africa: PO Box 44145, Nairobi, Kenya
    Americas and the Caribbean: Apartado 89829, Santafe de Bogota, Colombia
    South Asia: PO Box 5815, Lekhnath Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Women working wonders: Small-scale Farming and the Role of Women in Vihiga District, Kenya, A Case Study of North Maragol  (Chapter X: Farm management situations and types of households), by Basilida Anyona Mutoro, 342 pp., 1997. Thesis Publishers, Prinseneiland 305, 1013 LP, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Africa Recovery, Volume 14, No. 2, July 2000. United Nations Department of Public Information, Room S-931, United Nations, New York 10017, USA.  E-mail:
  • Country reports on situation and needs of Rural Youth. Website of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).