EDUCATION is very important for every child whether boy or girl. It is, therefore, sad that some communities still discriminate against the education of the girl-child.
An African proverb says, â€œIf we educate a boy, we educate one person. If we educate a girl, we educate a family and a whole nation.â€
By sending a girl to school, she is far more likely to ensure that her children also receive an education. As many say, investing in a girlâ€™s education is investing in a nation.
We could not agree more with Chief Bright Nalubamba of Namwala, Southern Province, who points out that society should appreciate the value of a girl-child and desist from marrying them off at an early age but instead allow them to be educated.
Parents need not look at the short term benefits of marrying off their children but the long-term gain.
They should not look at the few gifts or money that is given to them by cutting their daughtersâ€™ education short but look at the long term benefits which will get them and their children out of poverty, among other benefits.
The traditional leader, who is obviously a proud father, has something to smile about as he talks of a daughter who is a medical doctor buying him a car and wishes he had more daughters than sons.
Child marriages almost always result in the end of a girls education. The result is illiterate or barely literate young mothers without adequate tools to build healthy, educated families. They also tend to have fewer and healthier babies.
Educated women have a greater chance of escaping poverty, leading healthier and more productive lives, and raising the standard of living for their children, families, and communities.
On average, for every year a girl stays in school past fifth grade, her marriage is delayed a year. Educated girls typically marry later, when they are better able to bear and care for their children.
Children of educated women are less likely to die before their first birthday.Â Primary education alone helps reduce infant mortality significantly, and secondary education helps even more.
According to Girls Global Education Fund, a child born to a woman in Africa who hasnâ€™t received an education, he or she has a one-in-five chance of dying before the age of five.
Education will, therefore, entail that women are more likely to participate in political discussions, meetings, and decision-making, which in turn promotes a more representative, effective government.
Due to the many benefits of educating a girl-child, families and communities are important stakeholders in ensuring that girls are educated and are not in any way distracted from attaining their goals.
Like for Chief Nalubambaâ€™s daughter who ventured into medicine, this should be one of societyâ€™s priorities to ensure that our girls are educated and able to fend for themselves.
We should all support education for girls. For every boy that is educated there should be a girl educated too.