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THAT GIRL CHILD EDUCATION

THAT GIRL CHILD EDUCATION

The success story of each and every of Sewa’s close childhood friend reads, “Thanks to Sewa,
without whom I would not be where I am today.” This story makes us to ask, who is Sewa, what
did she do? Where is Sewa today? And what could have happened to her?
Sewa was brilliant, loving and well-mannered like any other good girl child. She was any
family’s dream child, a ten out of ten. Unfortunately, she was unable to achieve any of her
desired dreams.

Okay, who is a girl child? According to what we see every day, the girl child is simply a young
female child below the age of 18 who is in constant need of care and appropriate attention.

The state of the education of the girl child in Nigeria is quite disturbing. According to UNICEF
(United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) Statistics on Education in Nigeria, as
at 2018, Nigeria had an estimate of 10.5 million out-of-school children, thereby ranking world’s
highest, sadly, 60% of which are girls, also, concentrated in Northern Nigeria.
Mind you, this is not a Northern issue, because it remains the “Northern Nigeria”. Remember the
tears, wailing and suffering of young innocent girls in the North. Sewa is that young girl you see
every day in the streets with brown roofs and coloured skies, begging for alms. Remember Sewa
was once a Chibok student, Sewa once schooled in Sambisa, still she correctly spelt the
“Zambezi”, for even if you do not remember, the North will always remember, trust me, the
North remembers the silence of her friends.

Stay with me,

Nigeria has a very low female literacy rate as there are various controversial reasons why there
are more uneducated girls than boys. For one, Nigeria is a highly religious nation whose
teachings oftentimes tend to be overtly extreme. There are certain popular religious
misconceptions that the priority of the girl child should be learning to become a successful
housewife, doing household chores like cooking, washing and even family care like nursing
which by the very nature of accepted traditions require little or no formal education. This notion
is fallacious, the female child is not any lesser in intelligence or potential than the male child and
there is more to home economics and family health than the four corners of a kitchen room.
Nigerian parents, invest in your children’s education, but not according to sex.

Education is a fundamental “human” right, human, not male, not female, but both male and
female, recognized as such under the 1948 UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights).
Education is literally entrenched in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a fundamental “whose?” objective. The government? Maybe. It is first and foremost, the vested obligation of the entire the system; you and I, the people, who ultimately make up the
government.

Dear reader, another major cause of low rate of girl child education is girl child marriage. This is
another sensitive and topical discuss on its own, as it not only endangers the girl child’s future
but also her life. According to the NPC (National Population Commission), teenage pregnancy,
of girls aged 15 to 19 years was the number one killer, estimated to cause 50,000 deaths per year.
Little or no girl child education is justifiably blamed for stimulating teen marriage, pregnancy
and death. Too bad, this has gone on for too long in the country, even more saddening is the
redundancy of the Nigerian Child Rights Act and other related child protection policies.
Education must not only be available or accessible, but also accommodating.

Ignorance is not an excuse, for now you know! Help a girl child today! We all know one Sewa
somewhere, somehow, so help that girl child today!

So, what happened to Sewa’s dreams? Nothing happened. All her close childhood friends who
became successful were boys and she was “unlucky” to have been a poor little Nigerian girl. In
the end, she later died of “eduphobia” because she never knew what education was capable of.
Remember me.

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