Education can be defined as a process of teaching, training and learning, to improve knowledge and develop skills according to the advanced learner’s dictionary. Education is the most important instrument of change in any society. Any fundamental change in the intellectual and social outlook of any society has to be preceded by an educational revolutions. Education as an instrument of change has a democratizing force, cutting across the barriers of caste and class, smoothing out inequalities imposed by birth and other circumstances.
May I inform you that the present 21st century is a century of knowledge and skill acquisition development where your output is determined by your input, that is, what you know. The popular saying that TRAIN A WOMAN, BUILD A NATION”. The knowledge a girl-child acquired gives her an edge over others who may be less knowledgeable. It stands her out and presents her a problem solver. This is because when it comes to finding solution to the challenges of developing the society, she will be the first to be called upon in otherwords, the quantity and quality of what you know are fundamental determinants of how relevant and useful you will be to yourself, first and foremost and to the society as a whole.
WHO IS A GIRL-CHILD? AND OF WHAT IMPOTANCE IS HER EDUCATION TO THE NATION
The girl-child can be described as a potential mother, woman, mentor, character moulder, nation builder of tomorrow. Girl-child education is very important in the development of the society as well as the nation at large. It is the door to the National development.
In recent times, a lot has been done to, enhance the girl-child enrolment participation and completion in education by various stakeholders in education. One of the early interventions geared towards the enrolment of the girl-child education was the declaration in the Western Region of Nigeria in 1964. This declaration motivated parents who ordinarily would not have sent their girl-child to school (since it was free). Data revealed that about 3,000 girls enrolled in basic school in Ibadan, Oyo state capital, that year. The Universal Primary Education launched by the Shehu Shagari’s government (1979-1983) also enhanced the enrolment of the girl-child in education. The administration also introduced in every state an all-girl unity school to increase the girl-child enrolment in education. In 2000. The Olusegun Obasanjo’s government of UBE act ensure orderly development of basic education in Nigeria as well as ensure that all children of school age” are enrolled, attend school and complete basic education as appropriate: thus entrenching broad access equal opportunities, and quality education for the Nigeria girl-child.
The vision, goals and objectives underlying fundamentals human rights as written in chapter 4 of the constitution Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) and National Policy on Gender in Basic Education centers on equality, equal, justice, fairness, maximizing of full potential of all and guaranteeing equal access to political, educational, social, economic and wealth creation opportunities. The above should be devoid of everything relating to discriminating irrespective of gender, physical condition status of parents, religious and cultural/tribal inclinations.
The Millennium Development Goals of 20:2015 and 20:2020 acknowledged the indisputable role of women which is in line with the maxim as pointed below. When you educate a man, you educate a person, but educate a woman and you educate a complete family. This is because the education of every child starts from the family and the mother is the first teacher.
WHY SHOULD THE GIRL-CHILD BE EDUCATED?
There are so many reasons why a girl-child should be educated:-
It is on this basis of the above premise that the issue of girl-child education becomes crucial.
FACTORS THAT HINDER THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GIRL-CHILD EDUCATION IN THE SOCIETY:-
The vision and goals of a girl-child education could not be fully achieved because of some violence against girl-child in all fields of human endeavors. These violence affect the girl child negatively, educationally, socially, and otherwise. They face different types of violence within and outside the confines of schools, homes, society and nation at large. These are some of the forms of violence they faced.
In the homes/families and at the large society, other serious forms of violence abound ( to exist in very large numbers ) and emphasis should be given to some such as:-\
The rate of teenage pregnancy is becoming alarming in recent times. On Friday 5th April 2013, it was published in daily sun News paper that 32 pregnant teenagers were arrested in Abia baby factory by the men of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). On a similar note, sixteen pregnant young ladies were rescued and paraded by the state security service (SSS) in Abia state. ( Sun Newspaper, june 20th, 2013). The 32 teenagers and 16 young ladies were mostly under aged. Some of them have gone to the homes to deliver and sell their babies after delivery and probably go back either to the schools or to their parents’ houses. Among them were the kidnapped victims kept to be impregnated by the males hired to impregnate the teenagers after which their babies should be sold to prospective buyers. Recent record in Abuja on Monday 8th July, 2013 from the National Population Commission (NPC) said that 50,000 teenagers die yearly due to early pregnancies.
According to world health organization, (WHO), about 16 million girls aged between 15 and 19 and two million girls under the age of 15, give birth every year (Daily Sun 9/7/2013).
THE QUESTION TO ANSWER IS WHO ARE THE PERPETRATORS OF THIS CRIME?
It is shocking and terrifying to note that fathers rape their daughters, brothers and their sisters, pastors their lay faithful, and masters their maids. Not only men rape, women also rape boys”.
(Daily Sun 9/7/13). Teachers are also not left out as perpetrators. To buttress this point, there were many published instances to support this, one of such cases was the one of school school proprietor aged 40 that raped his 11 year old pupil in Ekiti (Daily sun June, 2013 page 13)
The National Agency for the prohibition of Traffic in persons and other related matters (NAPTIP) with the Child Right Activists are not relenting in their efforts to curb child labor. Recent survey that about 75% of kid hawkers and child slaved are from south- East (Daily Sun September 14, 2012, page 17)
FACTORS THAT PROMOTE GIRL-CHILD EDUCATION, PREVENTIVE MEASURES AGAINST VIOLENCE
Conclusion be mindful of the friends you keep because when you surround yourself with the wrong kind of people, just one evil suggestion can corrupt can corrupt your heart and jeopardize your future.
Do not hang around with people of questionable morals or ideal. Learn to identify foolishness from afar and take it in the opposite direction. Equally, learn to come closer to God always so that, He will give you His divine wisdom, guidance and protection.