BY MARY OLUWATOSIN AFOLABI, FEBRUARY 24, 2022 | 03:14 PM
Education is a powerful weapon for National growth and development and also one of the strongest instruments for reducing poverty, crimes and improving health, gender equality, peace and stability.
Education provides stability in life, and it's something that no one can ever take away from you. By being well educated, you increase your chances for better career opportunities and open up new doors for yourself. It also contribute to the betterment of a society as a whole. It develops a society in which people are aware of their rights and duties.
The Federation of the Nigeria Constitution said that every child has the right to a safe, formal quality education and access to lifelong learning. However, due to poverty, violence, gender bias, insecurity and other factors many girls are forced to leave school.
According to the World Bank, everyday, girls face barriers to education caused by poverty, cultural norms and practices, poor infrastructure, violence and fragility.
According to UNICEF, investing in girls'education transforms communities, countries and the entire world. Girls who receive an education are less likely to marry young and more likely to lead healthy, productive lives. They participate in decisions that most affect them, and build better futures for themselves and their families.
Girls' education strengthens economies and reduces inequality. It contributes to more stable, resilient societies that give all individuals including boys and men the opportunity to fulfill their potential.
But Girls' education goes beyond getting girls into school. It is about ensuring that girls learn and feel safe while in school; have the opportunity to complete all levels of education, make decisions about their own lives and contribute to their communities and the world.
A Chinese proverb says, education is the best legacy to give a child because giving your child a skill is better than giving her thousand pieces of gold. The moral lesson students learn in school will remain with them throughout their lives.
Equipping a girl child with basic skills such as reading, writing and critical thinking enables her to understand information provided to her well beyond the school aged years and give her the opportunity to learn a meaningful livelihood.
Girls'education is crucial for national development and the role of women cannot be underestimated. As the saying goes, "When you educate a man, you educate one but when you educate a woman, you educate a nation". This is because the education of every child starts from the family and the mother is the first teacher.
Mary Oluwatosin Afolabi writes from the Department of Mass communication, University of Maiduguri.
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21 November 2022
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