Girls’ Education: Of the ten least-rated countries in the world, nine are...

Girls’ Education: Of the ten least-rated countries in the world, nine are African

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On the occasion of the International Day of the Girl, celebrated on 11 October, the NGO ONE published a report calling the attention of the international community to the difficulties girls face in going to school.

The ten countries where girls have the least access to education are also the most fragile and poorest countries in the world. South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Niger, Afghanistan, Chad, Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Liberia and Ethiopia are at the top of the list.

ONE ran this ranking from 11 indicators: the rate of out-of-school girls of primary school age, upper and lower secondary education; the average number of years of schooling for women aged 25 and over; the literacy rate among the female population aged 15-24; the percentage of qualified primary school teachers; the number of pupils per teacher in primary schools and expenditure on education as a percentage of total public expenditure.

More than 130 million girls are not in school

Barriers to girls’ education are multiple and disproportionate across regions. Every year, early marriage deprives millions of girls of education. In the 10 countries listed in ONE, the majority of girls under the age of eighteen are already married.

Families often choose to send their boys to school rather than their daughters. Domestic work passes before education. The probability of a girl not attending school is 57% higher than the same probability for a boy, and this difference reaches 83% in high school.

In conflict zones, inequalities between girls and boys in education are greater. In Nigeria, many schools are closed due to attacks by the jihadist group Boko Haram – a name which means in Hausa “Western education is a sin”. In some parts of the country, more than half of girls do not have access to education.

Strengthening the resources allocated to education

In its report, the NGO proposes various measures to improve girls’ access to school and education. It asks each government to give 20% of the national budget to education. South Sudan, for example, where only 27 per cent of girls go to primary school, 2.6 per cent of the national budget goes to education.

ONE wants states to reform public policies, hire more teachers and promote students’ access to the Internet. But also, donor governments are increasing funding from the Global Partnership for Education (SME).

Friederike Röder, ONE Director of France hopes that France “will finance the projects of the Global Partnership for Education for the period 2018-2020 to the tune of $ 300 trillion”.

The country is committed with Senegal to co-sponsor the next replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education to be held in February 2018 in Dakar.

Source: Jeune Afrique