Is there enough money going for girls’ education in Sub-Saharan Africa?


a_classroom_in_oxfams_girls_education_project_bahr_el_ghazal_south_sudan

A classroom in Oxfam’s girls’ education project

Sub-Saharan Africa is a region composed of a lot of developing countries, which want to increase their impact on the international society. However, the level of education is a matter of concern in this region. Indeed, the lack of education especially has a damaging impact on girls in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is why a bigger percentage of the income from charity should be earmarked for girls’ education.

First of all, education should be a higher priority in the Sub-Saharan Africa due to its damaging consequences. According to a newly released report by a British charity named “Child Soldiers International”, girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo tend to join armed groups because of the lack of opportunities to go to school. Due to the fact that their family cannot afford to pay their school fees, these girls “see joining an armed group as their only option, and decide to throw themselves in harm’s way”. This example is just one of many horrendous consequences of the absence of education in Sub-Saharan Africa. If a bigger percentage of foreign aid was given to increase education opportunities, we might prevent girls from taking these desperate actions.

However, today education for all is a part of several founding programs created by governments or NGO’s nowadays. Sub-Saharan Africa is their biggest objective, as 28 million girls between the ages of 6 and 15 are not in school and many will never even set foot in a classroom. Thereby, this region, where the inequalities are huge, needs assistance to achieve its demographic transition. Researchers have found many reasons why education should be focused on girls because of the several good impacts it could imply. By making girl education a priority, the percentage of early weddings could diminished of 15% and the most important thing is that education keeps hunger away by leading to work and so better living conditions. Indeed, if all mothers had a secondary education, 12.2 millions children could be saved from stunting.

Moreover, foreign aids have helped a lot in many parts of Africa to improve this issues in the past decade. Yet, in different countries, this foreign aid continues to contribute to a large part of the budget of the government. But this foreign aid do not always go to the sectors where they were appointed.

Lastly, the importance of education has been proven by the South African government. South Africa has actually one of the highest rates of public investment in education in the world. At about 7% of gross domestic product (GDP) and 20% of total state expenditure, the government spends more on education than on any other sector. In 2013, the South African government spent 21% of the national budget on education. So, 41.7% of the total population has completed an education of high school or higher, whereas 8.6% of the population aged 20 years and older has not completed any schooling. Today, South Africa stands out as one of the most developed and important countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Their educational policy reflects a positive image and influence on the whole region.

Thus, the education is one of the most important assets for the development of one country and especially the girl education really can make the difference in the future. As we said, the consequences of the lack of concern to this issue are damaging with for example the increased number of girls who join an armed group. Indeed, governments and different programs such as NGOs take this stake as a real matter of concern and act in order to improve the level of education and decrease inequalities. The educational policy in South Africa shows that the States in this region are not one step behind and have a power somehow of improving theirs educational systems.

 

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