★☆☆Puberty Lessons for African Girls May Raise Attendance

2012年11月19日 ★☆☆, 2013年6月以前の記事, News Articles, Science & Health, VOA.

Read and understand the article. If you may have any difficult words to pronounce and words you cannot understand, always ask your teacher.

*Teachers will divide the article into 2-3 paragraphs to help you understand and check the pronunciation of the difficult words.


*Read the words carefully.

  1. menstruation /ˌmènstruéɪʃən/ (n.) the process in a woman of blood flowing from your body as part of a process that happens each month from puberty until menopause, except during pregnancy
  2. embarrassment /emˈbarəsmənt/ (n.) a feeling of self-consciousness, shame, or awkwardness
  3. ignorance /ˈignərəns/ (n.) lack of knowledge or information
  4. intervention /ˌintərˈvenCHən/ (n.) action taken to improve a situation, especially a medical disorder
  5. transition /tranˈziSHən/ (n.) the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another


Puberty Lessons for African Girls May Raise Attendance

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(1) A new study shows that simple, low-cost interventions can help teenage girls in Africa stay in school during their monthly periods.

(2) Paul Montgomery led the study. He is a professor in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention at Oxford University in England.

(3) “Women are the driving force of economic development across Africa. And so it’s particularly important to do what you can to keep girls going to school.”

(4) One hundred twenty girls in Ghana took part in the study. They were an average of almost sixteen years old. They attended three secondary schools in urban areas and one in a rural area.

(5) In the study, girls at two of the schools received free sanitary pads and lessons on puberty. Their attendance increased by an average of six days, or nine percent, during a sixty-five-day term.

(6) The puberty lessons included information about personal care during menstruation. The girls also learned about the biology of their developing bodies and about pregnancy.

(7) At the third school, the girls received the lessons but not the free pads. Attendance by these girls also improved by nine percent, but that took about five months.

(8) At the fourth school the girls did not receive the pads or the lessons. That group showed no improvement in school attendance.

(9) Professor Montgomery says the girls in the study had several reasons for missing school during their monthly bleeding. A majority expressed embarrassment about the changes in their bodies.

(10) “Embarrassment was a big part of it, certainly, and that was reported by well over half the girls. But ignorance, I think, was a very big part of it, too, and they just didn’t know what they were doing.”

(11) He says the interventions might not only keep girls from missing school, but also reduce teen pregnancies.

(12) “I think one of the things menstruation does is that it signals the onset of the girl transitioning into womanhood. And that in turn, I think, sets them up to get pregnant. So I think we’ll be able to help reduce teen pregnancy, improve their entering the labor market and the economic development of those women.”

(13) The Public Library of Science published the study in its journal PLOS One. A larger study is taking place in Uganda until twenty fifteen. The Oxford professor says the hope is to learn more about the effects of puberty on school attendance.

(14) “So, we already know that education is important. We know that pads are important. We know that both are important. And we ‘ll be able to separate out these key issues, and then be able to give some really strong advice for development officers as far as sub-Saharan Africa is concerned.”


*Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below

  1. Do you think having lessons about puberty in school is very helpful and important? Please explain.
  2. How can this help the children in growing up? Will having these lessons lead to a decrease in unwanted pregnancies?
  3. When you talk about topics like puberty and sex, do you feel awkward or offended when someone raises the issue? Why or why not?


English Compositions

*Let’s make English compositions using the words from the article.

(1) embarrassment

EX) A majority expressed embarrassment about the changes in their bodies.

(2) transition

EX) I think one of the things menstruation does is that it signals the onset of the girl transitioning into womanhood.