Education is a key tool in fighting gender inequality – But what kind of education? Rote learning? Or Stuffing books? Learning to read and write is just the basic component of the functional education needed to to re-position the girl-child. Beyond literacy, educating girls to rise above societal set-backs should include the following components:-
Teach confidence: the insipient effect of the social disposition to the girls is that they walk about timid. We’ve taught them that they are inferior; so they just walk about with no self-belief. We must now design a system that teaches confidence
Empower: when it is obvious that there is a skill gap, confidence-building pep talks are at best false hope-givers. We need to design a system that builds in all the required skills for girls. STEM education is one way to go. Also, leadership development should not exclude girls.
Communicate the value of the girl-child: it is not enough to teach the girl that she is valuable. The boy must be taught so – she is not living alone in the world. Till men agree to the value of women, the walk towards gender equality is far from won.
Encourage openness: we need to practice openness in discussing girl-child issues. The very secrecy girl-child issues have been shrouded in, has encouraged the continuity of violence and ill-practices against girls and women.
Teach communication – a key need in the fight against inequality is to develop effective communication skills. There will always be a need to clearly communicate women’s needs. Advocates will always be needed.
GEANCO is making her own contribution towards empowering girls. The David Oyelowo Foundation Leadership Scholarship for indigent girls is designed to build in wholistic development of brilliant and indigent girls. By giving these girls scholarships to prestigious secondary schools, GEANCO ensures that all the facets of education needed by the girls are provided.