by Joy Doreen Biira
The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) is calling for enhanced quality education to address the learning by enabling access to education and training for girls and women across Africa. FAWE whose work is to encourage governments, international organisations and local communities to enact policies and provide positive learning environments that treat girls and boys equally, will over the next five years focus on; empowering girls and women in Africa with skills , values and competencies they need to achieve their potential.
“The struggle for education is the mother of all battles. Together, let us mobilize for our children. Our will is to support the Global Partnership for Education’s actions to help millions of children to go to school”, said Senegalese President Macky Sall who officially launched FAWE’s five year strategic plan at the meeting of Committee of Ten (C10) heads of State and Government of the African Union Champions of Education, Science and Technology on the sidelines of the 33rd Heads of State African Union Summit at the headquarters in Ethiopia.
In her remarks to President Macky Sall, FAWE’s Chairperson Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang called for the urgent need to have meaningful and quality education passed down to girls and women on the continent, many of who remain uneducated and financially dependent. “Approximately 97 million children, youth and adolescents are not in school – 50 million are girls while millions of boys and 4 million girls will never step foot in a classroom”, she said.
President Macky Sall who chairs the C10 A.U Heads of State champions of Education While African countries are making progress in giving equal opportunities to both girls and boys, the pace at which this is being implemented needs accelerating considering the rate of population growth on the continent.
According to the World Bank, ‘learning levels for those in school are distressingly low with three quarters of second grade students unable to read or do maths proficiently. 85% of those in school are not learning.’
It is these statistics thats are basis upon which Africa needs to fundamentally transform the teaching and learning experience. Girls, who are mostly left out of formal education especially in rural parts of Africa due to highly patriarchal societies, are the untapped resource. Investing in girls’ future not only benefits them, but also their societies and nations at large.
“when girls stay in school, socio-economic dividends are higher with each additional year of schooling increasing their earnings by at least 10%”, added Prof. Naana Agyemang in her remarks to President Macky Sall.
FAWE is a pan-African Non-Governmental Organisation working in 33 African countries to empower girls and women through gender-responsive education.
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