In the past, African culture was such that education served as a rite of passage; not the preparation for adulthood that is now. When the European settlers introduced education into African society, it was done with a goal of making Africa competitive with the rest of the world.
But recently, UNESCO found that only 52% of children were enrolled in primary schools, the lowest in the world. Of these, only 40% finish primary school. To further concern, UNESCO also found that the gender inequalities found in schools was great. The reason for this stems from geographic disparities and economic disparities. Each of these takes years to change.
With significant goals put in place for this part of the world, there is still much work to be done. Fortunately, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) has taken the lead and recognized the necessity of having more schooling and training in this part of the world.
To do this, influencing youth in the right way plays a crucial role.
Gender disparities must be eliminated. This requires starting education of gender equality at a very young age. To do this, families should send their children to schools that are not gender exclusive. This way, the roles of the various genders can be eliminated and youth can see boys and girls for people instead of developing a gender bias early on.
It is crucial that females take a larger role in education. The participation of girls in schools directly correlates with the income levels of families. In high-income countries, 95% as many girls as boys attend schools. In sub-Sahara Africa, this number is only 60%. It is costly to send a child to school and in families with many children it is often that the boys are chosen to go to school over the girls. Instead, girls stay home to complete household chores, establishing the gender bias from a very early age and eliminating the ability for girls to get the education they need.
There are a number of initiatives in place to help youth get eliminate these gender biases and send more children to school.
Non-profit organizations, such as SACMEQ and the Benin Education Fund (BEF) in Africa provide scholarships for students and training to educators. Outside of Africa, other non-profit organizations work to provide youth with the education they deserve. It is the first non-profit organization that sponsors girls education through creative means. British Airways works together with UNICEF to help open a new school in Nigeria. And the Elias Fund continues to provide scholarships to children in Zimbabwe. With this amount of National and International aid, African youth are on the right track toward getting the education they need to progress on a global level.
Joyce Del Rosario works at www.outsourcely.com, a platform where hiring and working remotely is made simple. When not working, she engages in photography and event planning at Del Rosario Events. Aside from that, she also has a heart for writing.