EDUCATION IS MY ASSET
I believe whatever change we hope to achieve in the world and in our immediate community has to come first with change in the home front.
A lot of girls in my community do not have access to education; those that do have access do not have access to quality education. Most of the barriers to a girl child’s education are mostly centered around, traditional and religious barriers. Most traditions and religions do not see the need for a girl to be educated; girls are usually subjected to menial jobs or trading while their male counter parts head to school.
Economic condition and gender inequality stand as barriers to a girl’s education,often times where there are fewer funds for education boys are usually enrolled in school while their sisters stay at home; in this case the decisions made by family’s can be seen as a barrier to the education of the girl. Very few parents in my community think it is necessary for both girls and boys to have proper education, some are of the believe that all a girl requires is the basic primary and secondary education, and has no business in a higher institution. Those of us who got strong support by our parents to acquire a degree were seen as privileged and lucky girls, no one thought of it as a responsibility for my parent to ensure I get quality education.
Schools lack basic amenities and are sometimes located miles away from home; in classrooms teachers usually concentrate more on the boys than girls.
Girls are usually less encouraged, even as an undergraduate in the university my lecturers paid more attention on the boys than they did to the females, we had no mentorship compared to what the male students enjoyed.
While growing up a lot of girls I was in school with suddenly started dropping out to get married, the issue of early marriage in Africa needs to be addressed squarely in order to promote education and to protect young women.
Improving the lives of girls in my community has to start first with mothers and I am hoping to have an avenue to speak to mothers in my community about how essential education is to a woman, a couple of months back I was listening to a woman lament the ill treatment her daughter was receiving from the family she was given out to. She said the family had promised to send the little girl to school and take care of her while she helped them with chores at home but instead of school, she was subjected to hard work even at odd hours, with a lot of abuse.
Listening to her cry and lament was really painful for me, instead of the usual feeling of empathy, I just couldn’t understand why she was crying and was so bitter, I kept on asking myself this question ‘why give birth to children you cannot carter for and why get angry at someone else for treating your child badly “ when you as the parent has failed at your primary assignment as a parent, I felt sorry for the children seeing that she had another child by her feet and another on her breast it was certain that there was something wrong, it was clearly lack of information and education. Then I realize that If a woman is educated she will make better decisions in life especially as regards to marriage and childbearing.
The challenges I faced as a young woman trying to get an education has made me stronger, the things I have been told I cannot achieve as a girl, are the things I am more passionate at achieving, where my society thought I would fail I have always risen to the challenge, I am relentlessly in search of knowledge and information because I am not just a woman but first a human being and one with a drive to succeed and be and be a positive example to girls in my community.
Knowledge they say is key, a lot of African woman especially in the rural settlements do not have any formal education, and as such do not see the need for a girl child to be educated. They have been told overtime that it is of no use educating a girl, as she will still end up as a wife in a man’s house.
It became very important to me to point out that mothers should understand the importance of education, that way they can in turn encourage their daughters towards getting a sound education. Mothers should always listen to their girls, when mothers play their part the life of girls in my community will greatly improve.
When a girl is educated, her children will be educated, If a girl is educated we are sure of a better society.
With the passing of time women are rising to challenges young girls face in accessing education,and are making sure girls are not marginalized.