This monograph is based on a PhD thesis from the University of London (Laugharn, 2001). It examines the experience of a single initiative which was shaped by the goal of Education for All (EFA) and which sought to contribute to its realisation, the Community Schools Project of Save the Children/US in Mali. This community schools project, originating in Kolondièba District in Mali, aimed at increasing access to schooling, especially for girls, through community-based efforts. This paper deals primarily with the first three 'zones of exclusion' identified by the Consortium for Research on Educational Access, Transitions and Equity (CREATE1). The first of these zones refers to those children denied any access to schooling; the particularity of the Kolondièba community schools was the pragmatism with which the project approached trying to get to universal primary enrolment, especially in working with community organisations to stimulate and regulate local demand for schooling. The second zone of exclusion concerns withdrawals after enrolment, whether they be dropout, pushout, or walkout. The Kolondièba study goes into great detail about the factors, notably early marriage and labour needs, which competed with the goal of every child completing primary school. The third zone concerns children who are at risk of dropout; here the Kolondièba study examines individual, household, and community decision making about dropout, and how effectively community organisations can fight it. The study concludes overall that achieving high initial enrolment has been an easier accomplishment than keeping children in school.
CREATE Pathways to Access Series, Discussion Paper Number 14, 112 pp.