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Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Ladle Cannot Serve Anything If The Pot Is Empty

Educating girls is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and improving the lives of everyone in their communities. Education is one of the most important investments a country can make in its people. Education is a key factor for achieving success and self-enlightenment. The idea of not attending school because of you are a girl is unthinkable however, it is true. The ladle of equality and freedom cannot serve anything if the pot of education is empty.



Even in areas of Africa where there is a generally positive response to girls’ education, there is still a tendency for parents to support boys’ education over girls’.
Educating Africas' girls'
Because I am a Girl Africa Report 2012 answers two major questions on obstacles to girls’ education in Africa; Why is it that across Africa girls are still less likely than boys to enroll and remain in school and Why, in 47 out of 54 African countries, do girls have less than a 50% chance of going to secondary school?

Why is it that across Africa girls are still less likely than boys to enroll and remain in school?

Many of the concerns and constraints in girls’ education in Africa are rooted in deep-seated gender inequalities. Entrenched assumptions about girls’ roles as careers, mothers, brides and household laborers influence perceptions of the value of girls’ education and the life and career choices that are available for them. 

In some areas of Africa, official school fees may have been abolished, many schools continue to charge other fees such as for enrollment or examinations.
Education is the key that unlocks the door to poverty
There are still biased attitudes towards girls’ education and some parents still believe that girl’s education has no value and they cannot succeed even when educated. Changing these attitudes and behaviors is one of the greatest challenges facing girls’ education and one of the most complex to address. For many parents, such choices are made based on how far education supports or threatens traditional roles for girls. In Ethiopia and Kenya, parents noted that men felt threatened by, and were reluctant to marry, educated girls unless they were educated themselves. 

Similarly in Mali and Senegal, parents voiced concerns that girls would not marry if they stayed in school. There was also uncertainty about the benefits they would receive from educating their daughters, as boys were destined to be the head of the family and care for parents whilst girls would go to another family through marriage.

Why, in 47 out of 54 African countries, do girls have less than a 50% chance of going to secondary school?


Even in areas of Africa where there is a generally positive response to girls’ education, there is still a tendency for parents to support boys’ education over girls’. In Mali 48% of parents surveyed said they would keep their sons in school rather than their daughters if forced to make a choice, compared to only 28% who opted for keeping their daughters in school. 

Many of the concerns and constraints in girls’ education in Africa are rooted in deep-seated gender inequalities.
Learning to read opens the window of a child's mind
In the Ashanti area of Ghana, this difference increased to 50% opting for keeping boys in school against only 10% for girls. Many countries across Africa have national policies stating that primary education is free. The reality for children and their parents, however, is very different. In some areas of Africa, official school fees may have been abolished, many schools continue to charge other fees such as for enrollment or examinations. Added to the costs of uniforms, books, transport, stationary and other ‘hidden costs’ of education, sending a child to school remains a significant financial investment for families. This increases further at secondary school levels where costs are often 3 to 5 times higher than at primary level.

The Ladle Cannot Serve Anything If The Pot Is Empty ~ African Proverb

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