By now, every one knows that education is a determinant in building up of tomorrow’s leaders for a brighter future. Yet, it still seem ollusive for the Nigerian child; especially the ‘girl child’.
Uptil this moment, Girls are still being looked upon as liabilities in some parts of NIgeria. Parents especially the fathers believe that as girl child will not bear his name after getting married and bearing her husband’s name, or whatever education she acquires will be wasted as she will only end up giving birth and raising children; then educating her is of no use.
Even though education is a basic human right and has been recognised as such in the 1948 adoption of the universal declaration of human rightsn which was before Nigeria’s independence; all over the world, children, especially girls, continue to be denied this right. In Nigeria , Sierra Leone, and many other African countries, there is a huge gender gap from the secondary school onwards to tetiary institution.
Even in sedondary school, Girls are continuosly been withdrawn and married off; which results in consistent lower level of female participation in educational engagement at all levels .
And violence, sexual abuse, rape, domestic abuse, child marriage, incest, pedophilia and discrimination against the Girl child continues unabated. This situation is what is in turn resulting into an increasingly continious vicious cycle of poverty, diseases, illiteracy and social vices because education bestows on women a valuable sense of disposition and direction for a lifelong acquisition of knowledge, attitude, and skills.
“Access to education is a right for every Nigerian child,regardless of the gender, religion or disability ” as stated by the National Policy on Education; but the difference that exists between the enrollment of males and females in all levels of education, and the dropout rate of girls is starring us in the face, and participation in STEM, Sports and many other engagements are lower for girls than boys.This translates into fewer women in certain economic fields as well.
We all know that the cultural and religious values we subscribe to are what are cheifly responsible to the existing gender disparity which exists not only in education, but in every aspect of our lives. One prominent cultural view is that it is better for the woman to stay at home and learn to attend to her family, instead of getting an education. This perharps; explains the fact why more boys participate in getting formal education than girls.
The question now is: For how long?
Isnt it about time we all stand, rise up and erase all forms of gender discrimination and give room for quality education for all especially the girl child?
Is a Nigerian writer and freelance Journalist