S. Sudan amongst top 10 toughest places for girls’ Education
Reuters /Juba Monitor
South Sudan has been listed amongst the top ten countries in the world where girls find it difficult to go to school.
Reuters news agency reported yesterday that nine of the top ten countries where girls fail to get education are in Africa, while other crisis crippled countries, including Somalia and Syria, failed to make the list due to insufficient data.
The report said that girls are least likely to be in school in South Sudan, with nearly three-quarters of school-age girls out of the classroom, followed by Central African Republic, Niger and Afghanistan, all countries hit by conflict.
According to the BBC, the top ten toughest places for girls’ education are as follows; South Sudan: the world’s newest country has faced much violence and war, with the destruction of schools and families forced from their homes. Almost three-quarters of girls do not even make it to primary school.
Another country is Central African Republic (CAR). The report indicated that in CAR, there is one teacher for every eighty pupils. While in Niger, only seventeen percent of women between the ages of 15 and 24 are literate.
For Afghanistan, wide gender gap, with boys more likely to be in school than girls. And in Chad, there are many social and economic barriers to girls and women getting education.
In Mali, the report indicated that only thirty-eight percent of girls finish primary school, and as for Guinea, the average time in education among women over the age of twenty-five is less than one year.
For Burkina Faso, the report found out that only one percent of girls complete secondary school, and in Liberia, almost two-thirds of primary-age pupils are out of school. In Ethiopia, it was found out that two in five girls are married before the age of eighteen.
“Over 130 million girls are still out of school – that’s over 130 million potential engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers and politicians whose leadership the world is missing out on,” said Gayle Smith, president of the ONE Campaign that published the index on the eve of the International Day of the Girl.
“It’s a global crisis that perpetuates poverty. This index shines a necessary spotlight on the barriers that girls face to accessing a quality education in Africa,” said Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of children’s humanitarian organization, Plan International.
“The quality of a country’s education is linked to the resources governments invest in it,” said Albrectsen, who called for the closing of the education funding gap and addressing the barriers preventing girls from going to school.
The report found exceptions, however, such as Burundi, one of the poorest countries in the world that outperformed eighteen wealthier countries when it came to girls’ education.
Thousands of girls are kept from school due to poverty, early marriage, dangers in traveling to class and having too many chores at home, according to the United Nations’ children’s organisation (UNICEF).
In Ethiopia, two in every five girls marry before their eighteenth birthday while just one percent of girls in Burkina Faso complete secondary school, according to the report.
Attitudes towards education for girls are starting to change across Africa – as more parents see sending their daughters to school not only as a chance to improve their futures, but also to boost the family’s fortunes, experts said.
These experts however said generations of women have been left behind, with women accounting for almost two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults.
“Extreme poverty and gender inequity drive the injustice that not only keeps girls out of school, but forces them into child marriages,” said Fiona Mavhinga, a lawyer and one of the first girls in Zimbabwe supported by international educational charity Camfed to go to university. “Without an education young woman are “locked away from a better future,” she added.
The United Nations Children agency, UNICEF, said yesterday on the International Day of the Girl that every ten minutes a girl dies as a result of violence. It highlighting the challenges millions of girls face before, during and after crises.
Yesterday South Sudan joined the rest of the world in celebrating International Day of the Girl. This year’s theme for the International Day of the Girl is: “Empower girls: Emergency response and resilience planning.”