Empowering girl education worldwide

Dave Toycen, President of World Vision Canada, visited Afghanistan in April 2012. While in country Dave visited World Vision projects in Herat province, which is in the West, bordering Iran. The primary objective for the trip was to gain a better understanding of World Vision Afghanistanís strategy that focuses on maternal and child health and nutrition (MNCH), education and livelihoods. Children in Afghanistan face some of the worst conditions in the world, with under five mortality second only to Chad. Maternal mortality is amongst the global highest. One child in every five born in Afghanistan dies before reaching five years old. Less than one in two Afghan girls enrolls in primary school and each year 1,800 Afghan women die of pregnancy/birth related causes per 100,000 live births. This compared to the U.S where 11 die. Here Dave is visiting one of the three schools in Maslakh IDP Camp. This IDP camp was established in the 1990s and is a result of the ongoing wars that plague Afghanistan. However, out of 100,000 people who originally populated this camp, only 30,000 are left. On one hand this is a good sign because people are going home. However, the 30,000 people who are left are most likely going to stay because they have nowhere to go; either their homes and family land have been destroyed, their village is still not safe, or they know no other place then this camp. The most important thing for the elders of Malakh is education for children, but since they are a community that is not recognized by the government, they get no support or government assistance. This specific school started in 2005 and educates 2,700 students a day in two shifts in only 10 classrooms. There is a focus on sending both girls and boys from the IDP camp to this school where the children learn computer skills, they learn about shelter and hygiene, and family awareness. Because of a lack of space one classroom of boys is outside, in the shade of the building. To further support the ed

The issue of girl education has become a worldwide cause to ponder upon for the governments to act upon soon and work towards the provision of equitable chances of learning for both boys and girls, writes Jessy Iype of Elets News Network (ENN)

In a welcome move, an advocacy group set up by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and Foreign Policy Magazine have initiated an annual index to assess the availability and quality of education for girls around the world. The index will compile data to highlight gaps in secondary educational opportunities as well as gaps in donor funding.

“This new index is a ‘report card’ for our leaders, a critical step toward helping ensure that my sisters everywhere can have a quality, safe and free secondary education,” said  the 18-year-old Yousafzai in a statement.

Some 62 million girls are out of school around the world, and girls have faced violence for trying to go to school in 70 nations, according to the Malala Fund, which Yousafzai founded with her father to support education for girls.

Yousafzai was shot in the head in Pakistan in 2012 by the Taliban for advocating girls’ rights to education.The education activist is the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, which she won in 2014.

Asserting her views on this, Ranjana Kumari, Executive Director, Centre for Social Research said: “The assessment through an index is a good idea and is very important to assess the education as the rate of girl dropouts is high in the post primary stage.”

On pondering on the challenges girl literacy face here in India, she opines: “In India, there are grave issues like the poor infrastructure in schools, no provisions for girls in terms of sanitation, parents withdraw from sending their girls to school due to these.”

Societal causes like child marriage too are plenty. “Child marriage acts as a deterrent for girl education.”

Stating that the index will act as a window to the bridge the gap future in the field of education, for the policy makers, she said: “This index can help policy makers streamline policies in schools and help girls ratio be retained. Even though the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan initiative has increased the enrollment but has unable to retain them in the higher education bracket.”

The yearly index will show the availability, quality and security of girls’ secondary education, using data from non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, national governments and other groups.