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GIRLS’ EDUCATION, A LIFELINE TO DEVELOPMENT

THE education of girls has been described, everywhere, as the lifeline to development.                      

Educating girls is infact one sure way of giving them greater power to make genuine decisions and choices over the kind of lives they wish to live. That the women might have the chance of a happier life should be enough reason for promoting girls’ education.

Unfortunately, women and girls are the most discriminated against, and the most neglected when it comes to access to education. This is despite the fact that access to education is regarded as a basic human right to children, the girl children included.

It is undisputable fact that education is of fundamental importance to every child, whether boy or girl, and it is sad that some communities still discriminate against the education of the girl child.

Education is infact one area that offers one of the clearest examples of discrimination girls and women suffer. Among children not attending school, there are twice as many girls as boys, and among illiterate adults, there are twice as many women as men.

Yet, on a comparative note, the education of girls has more important benefits to society than the education of boys. It is an undisputable fact that an educated woman has the skills, information and self-confidence that she needs to be a better parent, better worker and better citizen than an educated man.

It’s also true that educated women are more likely to be more productive at work as compare to educated men.

An African proverb says, “If we educate a boy, we educate one person. If we educate a girl, we educate a family – and a whole nation.” By sending a girl to school, she is far more likely to ensure that her children also receive an education. As many people say, investing in a girl’s education is investing in a nation.

Therefore, it is important that countries and communities take deliberate steps to put girl children into school to enable them access education.

Other than offering them sponsorship; providing them with flexible school hours and girl-friendly learning materials, it is also recommended that the learning facilities or schools are put as closer to the girl’s homes as possible.

Subjecting girl children to walking long distances to school is one of the reasons some of them may be forced to abandon school altogether. It is imperative therefore that in cases where the schools at some from their homes, some measures are put in place to help them access them easily.

It is for that reason that we wish to commend the action by World Vision Zambia (WVZ), in North-Western Province, to donate 55 bicycles, valued at K64, 000, to 6 schools in Mwinilunga District to help the vulnerable girl children travel the long distances to school.

As stated by the WVZ district manager, Trust Mutinta, the purpose of the donation was to ensure that the girl child could be able to get to school without being very tired from walking and be able to concentrate on studies.

Mr Mutinta said the donation was also a way to keep the girls in school by avoiding the irritation of walking long distances which sometimes forces some of them to abandon school altogether.

It is this kind of support we would like to see given to such venerable groups to encourage them to be in school and acquire an education. Every possible and meaningful ways society could ensure that the girl child is still kept in school and made to acquire an education deserves everyone’s support.

Our appeal is for every person and organisation to get involved and to assist in whatever way they could to ensure that every girls attains an education. Let’s keep in mind that girls’ education is key to overall national development.

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