IMPACT OF A GIRL CHILD EDUCATION IN THE SOCIETY
(OMALA AS A CASE STUDY)
By: Queen Gift U. Isaac (Miss Ife)
Education is everybody’s right. No girl, however poor, no matter her situation, is to be excluded from school. Education saves and improves the lives of girls and women, ultimately leading to more equitable development, stronger families, better services, and better child health.
Education is the process of providing information to an inexperienced person to help him/her develop physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually and economically. Education is the process through which individuals are made functional members of their society.
A girl-child is a biological female offspring from birth to eighteen (18) years of age. This is the age before one becomes a young adult.
During this period, the child is malleable, builds and develops her personality and character. She is very dependent on the significant others, those on whom she models her behaviour, through observation, repetition and imitation. Her physical, mental, social, spiritual and emotional developments start and progress to get to the peak at the young adult stage.
The greatest favour one can do to himself or herself is “to get education”. According to a Chinese proverb, education is the best legacy to give to a child because “giving your child a skill is better than giving him one thousand pieces of gold.”
Many girls today, do not have adequate education past a certain age. When a girl is 12-14 years old, the elders in the family feel she is “ripe for marriage” and their words are LAW. So what are her words worth when the elders in the family have spoken? A girl who is given out in marriage at a very tender age is placed at a very high risk. She is not matured enough to be a mother, without any skill, information and confidence that might lead to her being a better mother and wife if she were educated.
The native traditional philosophy is that a woman’s place is in her husband’s kitchen and her primary role centres on her home. This belief have kept many girls away from education.
When a girl is given out in marriage at a very tender age, to a man who is old enough to be her grandfather, her right as a human has been abused as most Nigerians would say “she don marry her grandpa”. She has also been deprived of her right to education and will be doomed to be an illiterate forever if her husband does not give her opportunity to school after her wedding.
The general belief is that “when you educate a man, you educate one but when you educate a woman, you educate a nation.” This is so because the education of every child starts from the family and the mother is the first teacher. Educating the girl child produces mothers who are educated and who will in turn educate their children, care for their families and provide their children.
Therefore, educating the girl child translates to better health for the future generation, reduction in child morbidity and mortality thus triggering a snowball effect of achieving all other Sustainable Development Goals in a viable manner.
The girl child needs to be educated to acquire knowledge and skills needed to advance her status for social interactions and self-improvement. The girl child education also prepares her to face the reality in society and teaches her to be a good wife and mother. When she is educated, she realises the full potentials endowed in her; she discovers to be whoever and whatever she wants to be. With education, she would break the shell of ignorance and open that of self-discovery.
Think about great professionals like Chief(Mrs) Eniola Fadayomi, Prof. Bolanle Awe, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesil, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, Mrs Omobola Johnson, Mrs Sola Borha, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, Dr Sarah Alade, Mrs Toyin Sanni, Ms Arunma Oteh, Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, Ms Funke Opeke, Mrs Bolanle Austen-Peters are all products of great investments in the “Girl-Child Education”.
It is time to invest more in the girls child in all schools in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State. Investing on them should be top priority in this regard.