The value of the girl child education is enormous. It is beneficial not only to the girl and her family but also to the society and the nation. Educated girls’ population can go a long way to increase a country’s productivity and fuel economic growth. The economy can grow faster if more and more women become financially strong thereby reducing poverty.
Offering a girl basic education is one sure way of enabling her to make genuine choices over the kind of life she wishes to live. It allows her to acquire knowledge and skills needed to advance her status. It will also make her to think rationally, question and judge rightly and independently, to be economically independent, to plan and execute certain programmes and to actualise the full potential in her.
The value of girl child education can be seen in the lives of Nigerian women such as, Professor Dora Akunyili, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, Diezani Alison Madueke, Stella Oduah, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufai, among many others, that have explored their full potential due to education.
UNICEF cross-country studies show that an extra year of schooling for girls reduces fertility rates by 5 to 10 per cent. And the children of an educated mother are more likely to survive. Mothers with education would promote education without discrimination, and they will respect the right of every child by not sending her children to school only and leaving other children to be hawking during school hours.
Even though the girl child education is suffering due to, bullying in school, beating, extortion, corporal punishment, verbal abuse, intimidation in schools, early marriage or teenage pregnancy, rape or sexual harassment, child labour, prostitution, and cultural beliefs, there are still measures to take in order to improve it.
Elizabeth Ali Yidawi,
Department of Communication,
University of Maiduguri