January 24th every year has been set aside by the United Nations as the International Day of Education. This year’s theme is tagged: Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation.
It is a universal knowledge that quality education is a human right — something that everyone should have access to regardless of race, religion, political affiliations, tribe or gender. But in Nigeria, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Many girls that are out of school because of poverty, negative stereotypes, wrong mindsets and the vice called “child marriage”.
Many times we see people who can’t afford their children’s fees, send them over to relatives or friends as helps. A good number of these relatives exploit the children by making them spend the whole day doing chores.
These negative mindsets, stereotypes and vices that keep the girl out of school halts her education and mars her future. Thus, it is unacceptable. In a world that is fast-changing and whose future is highly dependent on what we know and how educated we are, we have to do something.
We have to lend our voices to this cause. We need to scream on top of our voices, if we have to, and let people know that girls deserve an education as much as boys do. We need people to know that education empowers the girl child to be resourceful and beneficial to herself and to the society.
Luckily, we wouldn’t have to do this alone. If there is one thing this global pandemic has taught us, it is the need for and importance of collaboration. Now, it’s time for us to put hands together with each other and with well-meaning stakeholders in the international community and help our girls learn.
There is no achieving gender equality or levelling the playing ground if girls are uneducated. There’s no breaking the cycle of poverty or creating a better economy without quality education and lifelong opportunities for everyone.
Thus, all hands must be on deck to ensure quality education for our girls. As we seek to recover and rebuild from the loss the pandemic has dealt us, let us prioritize girl child education and squash anything that comes in the way of it.
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