It was on a Monday morning in September, Amina saw her mates going to school on a school bus, she waved at them with tears in her eyes and ran back home to her parents. Amina why are you crying her father asked, she answered; father I want to be going to school like my friends. Her father shouted “not in my house when did education become so important to a girl child. A few days later Amina ran away from her father’s house in Katsina to her aunt that stays in Lagos and explained how her father refused to enrol her in school and the aunt understood her plight and enrolled her in a school.
According to the World Bank Group, Girl Child Education is a strategic development priority. Better educated women tend to be healthier, participate more in the formal labor market, earn higher incomes, have fewer children, marry at a later age, and enable better health care and education for their children when they choose to become mothers.
In many homes in Nigeria, a girl child does not have the right to education as a Basic Human Right. Since the adoption of the universal declaration of the human right of all citizens in 1948, the nation’s policy on education states that access to education is a right for all Nigerian children regardless of gender, religion, and disability. Girls have the same right to education as boys, educated girls can make informed choices, and from a far better range of options. Educating girls saves lives and builds stronger families, communities, and economies. An educated female population increases a country’s productivity.
According to 2019 data to Educeleb.com obtained from the Federal Ministry of Education, about 38% of Nigeria out of school children are girls. This represents 3.85 million of the 10-19 million children out of school in the country. With this number of females not been educated it increases poverty in the country. It goes without saying, how essential the importance of girl-child education is to our society. They are so many importance of education of the girl-child to the society these includes; Income Potential: Education empowers a woman’s wallet by boosting her earning capabilities. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, also known as UNESCO, a single year of primary education has shown to increase a girl’s wages later in life by 20 percent.
Political Representation Education empowers women to understand governance and politics, vie for political positions, and make women in power better leaders.
Safe Sex: A girl who completes primary school is three times less likely to contract HIV. With these statistics in mind, The World Bank calls education a “window of hope” in preventing the spread of AIDS and or any other STDs among today’s children.
Late Marriage: A girl that is educated understands what marriage is all about and gets married when she is mentally ready and at her convenient time. One in every three girls is married before reaching the age of 18. Early marriage can be a deception. Young girls get pregnant without even realizing it and how it is harmful and sometimes deadly for their lives. They hardly cope with the proper upbringing of kids as no one taught them how to do it as well. So many health problems may be experienced by these young girls; there is a high risk of getting sick with HIV/AIDS, not to forget domestic violence in the marriage which is a common problem that may not be handled by illiterate women properly.
Thriving Gross domestic product: This also soars when girls are being offered educational opportunities. When 10 percent more women attend school, GDP increases by three percent on average.
Poverty Reduction: When women are provided with equal rights and equal access to education, they go on to participate in business and economic activities, thereby increasing earning power and income to combat current and future poverty through feeding, clothing and providing for entire families.
Human Trafficking: Women are most vulnerable to trafficking when they are uneducated and poor. Educating a girl child will reduce trafficking in society.
Recommendations The following are the recommendations as a solution to girl-child Education in Nigeria. • Government to increase access to quality education for girl-child in the country. • There is a need for government and other relevant stakeholders to establish more campaigns and awareness on the importance of girl-child education. • The girl-child needs to be provided with a safe and supportive educational environment that will be free from abuse, with separate toilet facilities, safe drinking water, equal attention with boys, and a gender-sensitive curriculum.
• Government should pass legislation that makes the education of girls mandatory for primary and junior secondary school, and then enforce these laws firmly, and or especially in the rural communities so that the issue of house chores and other things that stop the education of a girl child will stop.
Conclusion Girl- Child education is key to a better life for everyone in society as the lives of un-educated girls will always be at risk and will increase the poverty rate in the country. A few years later Amina returned home as a Medical Doctor and treated her poor father that had been suffering from cancer of the lungs for years. Then the father realized how very important girl-child education is.