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FOOD FOR THOUGHT
17/05/18
Inequality in the education of male and female children is a national issue predominantly in developing countries. To every child education is important whether boy or girl. Sadly, some communities still discriminate against the education of the girl child. Around the world, about 57 million children does not go to school. In a report by United Nation Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO, 2011) titled “Children still battling to go to school,” 95% of the 28.5 million children that are not in primary school education lives in low and lower income countries of which 44% are from Sub-Sahara Africa, 19% South and West Asia and 14% in Arab states, girls are always the victims of rape, and sexual violence and this makes up the 55% of the total.

An African proverb says “if we educate a boy, we educate one person. If we educate a girl we educate a family and a nation.” As many claim, “investing in a girl’s education is investing in a nation.” (Malala Yousafzai address to the UN Youth Assemble, July, 2013).
This is so because an educated girl child is more likely to ensure that her children are educated and this will be passed onto the nation. In a report by a charitable organisation “Theirworld” 2016, it is argued that more than 40% of girls that lives in Sub-Saharan Africa are married off before the age of 18 and this deprives them of their education, childhood, and health. Early marriages in girls also increases the likelihood of sexual violence, HIV and these girls are put at risks of serious injury and death during child birth.
Most economists agreed that it is the human resources of a nation, and not its capital and material possessions that governs the character and pace of its social and economic development. As such the main institutional device needed for the proper development of human ability, talent and knowledge is formal education and the most important device for attaining a justifiable national development in most civilised countries of the world is also, education.

The importance of girl child education cannot be overemphasised as it provides knowledge to the inexperienced and help them develop physically, mentally, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, economically, and politically. Education is a process which enables a young girl to acquire knowledge, realise her true potentials thereby using them for self-actualisation and enabling her not only to be useful to herself but to others and to her society. Sadly, almost 70% of most African population lives in poverty and girls are being sent to hawk on the street in other to make ends meet. This have also lead to early marriages, teenage pregnancy, V V F, and religious misconceptions.

The implication of the lower access of education for the girl child and women is that it denies them of the opportunity and power to influence public policy and programmes unlike the male counterparts. Poor education for the girl child rob her of two things - the ability to positively affect her children educational development and ability to make meaningful contribution to the national development”. The consequences of poor education of the girl child does not affect the female gender alone but the males and the nation, as they would also be deprived of the benefits of the girl child education.

Education is a tool to self actualisation and national development, lets support and encourage the education of the girl child today.


Author - Shulamite Ezechi