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Education in Africa – #10DaysToAct
By admin June 19, 2014

Photo: Marco Dormino/UN Photo

Photo: Marco Dormino/UN Photo

Africa celebrated the Day of the African Child this past Monday, a day marked by the African Union (AU) every June 16th to commemorate the schoolchildren protests in 1976 against apartheid in South Africa. It is important to consider the progress and the future work necessary to ensure quality, free, and compulsory education for all children in Africa. Education is the closest thing to a silver bullet in economic and social development, with the power to transform individuals, communities and nations. CNN reports that despite increasing numbers of children attending school in recent years, 126 million children remain out of primary school and lower secondary school around the world and 65 million of these children are girls. Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa face the hardest time in the world accessing primary education where nearly four out of five poor rural girls do not finish primary school.

The economic gains from additional education are clear: the UN finds that one extra year of schooling can increase an individual’s earnings by 10%. Some countries lose more than $1 billion a year by failing to educate girls to the same level as boys, according to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the President of Liberia. While figures of youth attendance have improved, on-the-ground surveys conducted by the non-profit Twaweza have found quality of education to be lacking.

Child marriage remains one of the main barriers to girls’ education, because few girls are able to return to school after marriage or pregnancy.  The World Bank found that if child marriage and early pregnancies could be eliminated, it could potentially cut in half the gender gap in education. The good news is that child marriage is currently getting a lot of international attention. The AU’s expert body on child rights, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC), has finally taken up the issue and governments are listening. In addition, the #10DaysToAct campaign was launched on the Day of the African Child by the AU and A World At School. When it ends on June 26th, all governments around the world will be asked to pledge their commitment to education at the Global Partnership for Education pledging conference in Brussels.

For more information:

–       http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0019/001902/190214e.pdf

–       http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/16/world/africa/africa-rising-invest-girls-johnson-sirleaf/?hpt=hp_c5

–       http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/pubs/pubs/ib/ib33.pdf

–       http://www.ungei.org/index_5162.html

–       http://www.ungei.org/files/Child_Marriage_Edu_Note.pdf

–       http://plan-international.org/


Thanks for sharing !


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