Invest in young people and prioritise the girl child: International Day of Education.

The United Nations General Assembly in 2018, proclaimed the 24th of January as the International Day of Education to highlight the role of education towards peace and development.

This year we are commemorating the 5th edition of the International Day of Education under the theme: “To invest in people, Prioritize education.”

Farming Community Educational Trust (FACET) dedicates the 5th edition of the International Day of Education to the young people in the farming and rural communities who do not have access to quality and equitable education.

 Education is a human right that is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of human rights which must not be taken away under any circumstance.

Depriving children in rural and farming communities to access quality and equitable education is a violation of their fundamental human rights and a serious indictment of our society.

More often than not, children in rural and farming communities are vulnerable to child marriages and teenage pregnancies which ultimately destroys their future. Without education it is difficult to win the battle against HIV and AIDS.

According to a report by UNESCO, the sub-Saharan Africa accounts for half of all out of school children in the world, with Zimbabwe reported to have about 1.2 million children who are out of school and a larger share of these children are residing in rural and farming communities.

While FACET acknowledges and appreciates efforts by the government through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary education to provide education to children in farming communities, the government need to scale up its efforts mainly to shorten the distance that some children walk to access a school.

Government working various partners should also introduce deliberate programs to encourage young girls who may have dropped out of school due to early pregnancies to return to school. The programs should largely target discrimination and stigma that young girls face in their bid to return to class.

FACET is appealing to government to improve infrastructure at schools in rural and farming communities to make the environment conducive for learners. The majority of learning environments have overlived their life span with the level of deterioration a hindrance itself for children to pursue their education.

FACET equally implore parents and guardians to invest in their children by sending them to school and afford them all the support they need. Sending children to school should not be optional but a priority for our future to be better, hence investing in young people is a must.

We all have a responsibility to contribute towards fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goal  (SDG)  four (4) which focuses on quality education. The United Nations pronounced in 2015 that education should be inclusive and equitable to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

By Rufaro Shantel Wilford

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *