Credit: Malala Blog

21 Nov A ‘Peace’-ful approach to reform- Something Good

Thinking back to being 15, did you consider educational reform as your after school activity? Don’t fret- most don’t, but this is an article about a very special 15-year-old, Peace (that’s her name); who upon hearing about the state of education in Nigeria, vowed to effect change.

Peace, the 15-year-old child activist was born in Nigeria and has studied to complete her secondary education. She considers herself lucky for this achievement as she learns that this isn’t the case for those around her. It’s truly disheartening that access to education is still borderline taboo in these regions- especially toward girls. That social circumstance is on the verge of a massive change with Peace advocating against it.

“The day I found out that other girls don’t get to go to school, I cried. I think education is the right of every child — for boys and girls. This is not something that should happen. So I decided to do something about it.”

 

Peace, equipped with her wits and determination, is destined to be the driving force of educational reform in Nigeria for all children and especially girls. To that effect, Peace has actively made herself a part of the youth conferences held in Dakar- simultaneously joining the Malala Fund to aid in funding her ambition. Her method of change has led her to make contributions to the ‘Youth Solidarity Statement’ which is set to ensure change is carried out. Her discussions emphasize the importance of education, its value on society and on a girl child. She was given the platform to speak about her ambitions and tell her story with world leaders. She’s certain these efforts will yield positive results that will alter the very mindset of the naysayers.

Credit: Malala Blog

Credit: Malala Blog

Peace is a very grateful young woman who cherishes the support she’s got from her parents. In her experience with her peers, she’s learned that boys are given priority over girls to an education simply because a backward mindset sees women fit for other societal norms. Not Peace, she wasn’t going to have any of it, and so she set out by pioneering her campaign ‘All Girls Must Go to School’. As evident, she isn’t one to mince words and her approach is equally as direct.

The female literacy rate in Nigeria is 58% in comparison to the 76% maintained by the males. This gap can be blamed on the exclusion.

 

She started out by visiting homes within her community inquiring about the difficulties and inhibitions that kept children from school. She reports that besides the lack of support from their families; these children- especially the girls, face problems that have far deadlier consequences on their development. Among them are practices such as child marriage, child labour and teenage pregnancy. Her findings left her stumped and she exclaims that this experience brought her to her knees upon discovery. She then went on to confront the parents as an advocate for change and was appalled by the responses. The response that stood out the most was a parent questioning the value of an education for a girl as the investment would be a waste. Peace argued that a girl child with an education is a direct contribution to society and that fact is undeniable.

Peace, along with a horde of believers is certain that the future of any given nation lies in the hands of girls and women. “So if we want great nations- if we want a great world- we must educate girls”.

We are in full agreement with Peace and her zeal in achieving education for all.


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