A Deeper Look at Child Marriage and Education in Sub-Saharan Africa
Every year millions of children all over the world are not in schools. They are either in pre-school or are out in the streets playing, where parents fear for their safety. Millions more are in classrooms but do not get a quality education; here are some of the main causes of such a global education crisis. Without urgent action, by the next decade at least 825 million children around the world will be incapable of receiving or continuing a basic education. This figure is steadily rising and if something is not done it will lead to billions more children who are illiterate and uncared for.
The root cause of the education crisis is the violation of children’s rights to an educational education. Since the 1960s, many children have been forced to leave primary school and remain in situations where they face physical abuse, neglect and dangers. They are left to fend for themselves and with very limited chances to either learn to love or even to survive. Many of these children have been sold into child soldiers and used as cannon fodder in conflicts around the world. Others have become sex slaves or are subjected to appalling acts of violence. There is nothing more shocking than the fact that there are a million children who are enrolled in schools but are either being neglected and left to die or are being deployed into battle zones where they face the prospect of death or serious injury.
Lack of funds is also a key cause of the lack of education for millions of children. It seems that every time there is an economic crisis or recession, the government has to spend more money on things such as unemployment benefits, social welfare and education. But there is precious little that can be done when there is a major cut in basic social welfare services as well as a decrease in tax income. And since children are a primary target for these cuts, parents often lose hope that they will ever see their children achieve any kind of success in life. If this situation continues to persist, what is the next step that parents should take? The answer is complete primary school education for all children.
This is not an option that any parent would choose. This is not only because the education system in sub-saharan Africa is so poor; there are many other reasons for this. Girls are married before completing primary school and are forced to live with their husbands and their in-laws. Boys are subject to genital sexual violence and are separated from their families at a very young age. The practice of female infanticide is rampant and there is no sign of any appreciable improvement despite calls for action from international human rights bodies.
In order for any country to succeed in education, it must provide its citizens with a comprehensive range of educational opportunities. This is a particularly daunting challenge in sub-Saharan Africa, where corruption and lack of investment in education is a major barrier to educational achievement. A lack of quality education is the single biggest deterrent to economic growth and development in the country. In fact, when students have no chance of reaching their full potential, they are unlikely to perform well academically and perform at all. When economies become too developed, the number of youngsters who are able to enjoy equal access to quality education drops significantly and this leads to a situation where many children drop out of school before finishing primary school. Without quality education, any country can find itself economically and socially disadvantaged.
Read Also : Why Having Confidence Will Help You in College
This is one of the most important issues on which governments in sub-saharan Africa must focus if they are to improve standards of living and development and improve quality of life. Sadly, in some countries, corruption and lack of investment in primary school and secondary school education is such a problem that it is denying children the opportunity to reach their full potential. One of the reasons for this is poverty. One fifth of the people in sub-saharan Africa live in poverty. It is important to ensure that every child has the opportunity to complete primary school and attain a level of education so that their life experiences are shaped by the knowledge that they receive from an early age.
There are three million girls out of school in sub-saharan Africa. This represents a huge gender gap that has been widening over time. In Afghanistan, the number of female school students has dropped by almost 30% since the mid-1990s due to the lack of investment in education and lack of awareness of girls’ education. If this continues, there will be a significant imbalance between men and women in the future which will have an adverse effect on the economic development of sub-saharan Africa and the stability of the country.
Lack of investment in education and child marriage go hand in hand. If any nation is to succeed in the future, it needs to ensure that all children attain quality education and are married before the age of 18. The empowerment of women and promotion of family values are the cornerstones of ensuring that this happens.