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Gender and Education in Antigua and Barbuda

Gender and Education in Antigua and Barbuda

Centre for Commonwealth Education

This project evolved from discussions with the government of Antigua and Barbuda, following a Regional Caribbean Conference (Montego Bay, Jamaica, May 2009) on 'Boys at Risk', sponsored by the World Bank and Commonwealth Secretariat. Concern was expressed over the situation of rising numbers of boys and young men in Caribbean countries, with a pattern of disengagement in education, dropping out of school, non-participation in the labour market, anti-social and criminal behaviours, and increasing suicide levels.

Meeting

Research in Antigua and Barbuda, however, has revealed a more nuanced interpretation of the issue, with class cross-cutting gender, and evidence of girls who were at least as disadvantaged as boys. In response to this, we have been working with the Ministry of Education in Antigua and Barbuda to develop intervention strategies which appear to impact on girls and boys alike and to promote greater engagement with school. This programme was disseminated to other small island states in the Caribbean in May 2011.

Alongside the intervention programme, qualitative research is currently being conducted in four government secondary schools, exploring students' experiences at school in relation to sexuality.

Publication

  • Warrington, M. and George, P. 2014 Reading for Pleasure in Paradise: paired reading in Antigua and Barbuda, Literacy, forthcoming
  • Cobbett, M. and Warrington, M. 2013 'Sometimes it's fun to play with them first': girls and boys talking about sexual harassment in Caribbean schools, Culture Health and Sexuality, 15.9: 1026-1039

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