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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

GIRLS’ EDUCATION: CHALLENGES AND EXPECTATIONS

Date:

By Brighter Dossen

Liberia is still struggling to recover from the challenges of the civil war which took place from 1989 to 2005. Every part of ordinary life was affected by the conflict including the education of the children. Without education and empowerment, the future of the youth especially the girls, is bleak.

Education is the process or act of learning or teaching, acquiring, or imparting knowledge. Therefore, ensuring that all girls and young women receive a quality education is the right decision and a major intervention for postwar Liberia. But many children especially young girls do not have the opportunity to go to school to learn.

All girls and boys must have access to quality primary and secondary education to end poverty. Children living in poverty face many problems with education but the rates are especially high for girls. Investing in girls’ futures has the potential to uplift their families, the nation, and the world.

When girls receive a quality education, they see the benefits in all aspects of their lives. Poverty is the most important factor that determines whether or not a girl can access education. I say this because a 24 years old girl named Abigail Kokubah lives within the Grain Coast Community in Brewerville told me that poverty and financial hardships caused her to dropped from the Nakifa Medical School.

Her father never had enough money to take care of her siblings, the house, and her school. Because of low income, she had to stop pursuing her dreams and live with reality.

Another young lady who is Justine Z. Folley, born on January 8, 2000, lives in the Baby-ma Junction Community of Brewerville. She has been struggling to go to school. She said some of the challenges she is faced with are transportation and paying of her school fees. She usually walks from her house every day to go to school, a distance that cost about L$120.00 daily.

Ruth Augustine is a 15 years old girl who also lives in the Baby-ma Junction community. She told me her mother struggles a lot to raise her fees. Because of the death of her dad, the mother is the only person that is providing for the family. She sometimes goes to school without lunch and normally sells around the community before going to school in the afternoon.

Janet Kolubah, who is 17 years old and lives in the Grain Coast Community in Montserrado County District 17 has to sell for her elder sister in the morning before going to school because the family can’t afford it. She will have to change her career from desiring to becoming a medical doctor to a businesswoman. Josephine F. Quoi, 18 years, who is also a resident of the Don Bosco Community told me that transportation to school is her major challenge.

She walks about 1 hour and 30 minutes every day from home to her school campus. She stays with a family relative who does not have much time and care. Another young woman, Marthaline Dukuly, is 23 years old. She was in a private institution but couldn’t afford the fees, so she had to attend the nearest government school to continue her studies.

School-aged girls are much better off today than the past years but there are still many who are not completing their education due to financial constraints. Their parents don’t have the money to pay their school fees and it can be really difficult to keep up with the costs of transportation, textbooks, or uniforms.

Everyone experiences difficulties with studying at one time or another and overcoming those challenges is all part of the learning process of life. Without the means and opportunities to go to school, girls could turn to illicit means of finding money to go to school which could result in prostitution, unwarranted pregnancies, etc.

It is no secret that the cost of school fees is becoming more and more expensive by the year. And many of those girls who live with their parents, have to sell or sometimes ask relatives for assistance to continue their education

Financial pressure can make it quite difficult for students to concentrate on their classes. About all the girls I interviewed are faced with poverty and financial hardships. Something must be done to help them and to end poverty. To ensure quality education for all, especially girls and women, we must create opportunities like scholarships and empowerment programs for them to continue in school.

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet, a product of Smart Media Group Inc. smartnewsliberia.com publishes a wide range of content including politics, business, sports, and entertainment on and about Liberia. Contact: +231777425285/ 886946925 Email: info@smartnewsliberia.com/ smartnewsliberia@gmail.com

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