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Gauranteeing the girl child’s future

Education is one fundamental human right that all Nigerian children should be given without bias to their sexual gender. However, the importance of education in the life of the girl child can never be over-emphasised. 

It is trite to aver that educating the girl child produces mothers who are educated and will in turn raise upright children. Educated mothers are a formidable pillar, moral and financial support to their families.

Studies have shown that the girl child education also prepares her to face life’s harsh realities, while also grooming her to become a good, responsible and dutiful wife, who will not shirk her motherhood responsibilities. 

For sure, when the girl child is educated, she realises the full potential endowed in her. Again, she discovers to be whoever and whatever she wants to be.

Better educated and empowered women help to drive societal reformation, and contribute to the development of any nation. 

Despite several national and international legal instruments such as the Strategy for the Acceleration of Girls Education Programme (2003), the Child Rights Act (2003) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), many Nigerian girls still face challenges preventing them from access to education.

Among the key factors affecting the girl child education here in the northern part of the country are poverty, illiteracy, teenage and underaged marriage, to mention a few.

According to Malala Fund, an education blog, Nigeria accounts for 45% of all out-of-school children in West Africa, with over 10 million out-of-school children.

“Girls account for 60% of Nigeria’s 10 million out-of-school children, facing barriers such as child marriage, poverty and discriminatory social norms. In Nigeria, 30% of girls aged 9-12 have never been to school at all.

“In Northern Nigeria, low-quality education prevents girls from learning the skills they need to thrive. Families do not see value in sending girls to school if they are not learning, so they often choose to marry their daughters off instead of continuing their education. 

“Additionally, long-held cultural beliefs fuel gender discrimination, which further limits girls’ ability to reach their full potential,” it said.

For the girl child, acquiring education is one of the first steps in participating in society, while also freeing herself from economic exploitation and patriarchal oppression. Education is an instrument that is capable of addressing inequality in any society. 

The exclusion of girls from education, more than anything, denies them the opportunity to develop their potential and to play a crucial role in their families, country and the world at large. 

It is pertinent to also assert that providing more education for girls will increase the involvement of women in the political process, and further the spread of information on several health threats including female circumcision, early pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Educated girls may also result in a decrease of infant and maternal mortality, domestic and sexual violence and child marriages, as a matter of fact.

Since the girl child education has been identified as the backbone of the advanced societies of the world, developing countries like ours must, and should not fail to accord it a priority attention, knowing that its impacts on any society are numerous.

Hence, the government, corporate organisations and Nigerian philanthropists must deem it necessary to support the girl-child education through scholarship awards, and provision of free text books, and school uniforms. 

No sacrifice is too small to make for the Nigerian girl child, if her promising future must be guaranteed.

Ali Busuguma,

corps member with PRNigeria,




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