The Girl- child education has made great strides in the last decade. Girls have defied many odds entrenched in religious and cultural fallacies to make thier mark on the academic map.
As high school candidates prepare to sit for national exams in November this year, the performance of girls is likely to go up even to a point of equalizing with that of boys or even surpassing it.
In the 2009 ‘O’ level national exams, the best overall student in the country was a girl and a Division 1 and an aggregate of 7. Moreover, 12 out of 19 of the country’s finest performers were girls.
Thanks to the affirmative action enacted and firmly enforced by the Rwandan government, girls continue doing better and even better because the ground has been leveled for fair competition.
Going by statistics from the Rwanda National Examination Council, there was an increase in girls’ ‘O’ level enrolment in 2009 by around 1,508 which was a percentage increase to 48.08%.
The increase can be attributed to the government’s efforts in promoting and empowering the once downtrodden gender.
Some nongovernmental organizations’ relentless support for programs of women and girls have also added an impetus to the government’s efforts.
For instance, Imbuto Foundation’s vehement support for girls’ education cannot be overemphasized. Scores of girls and women across the country have managed to have a new lease onlife through the foundation’s programs.
However, a number of challenges have been dogging girls and there is need to addressed them for better results to be achieved.
First and foremost, school dropouts due to unwanted pregnancies have to be addressed through sensitization programmes. Although there is tough legislation guarding girls against marauding male sex abusers, some girls have continued to be victims of illicit sexual practices.
Second, the idea that certain subjects and professions are for men should be buried. Women who have made a break- through in traditionally male dominated professions hence they should come out and challenge young girls to follow suit.
Overdependence girls for multiple household chores should also be stopped. Let the girls have equal study time at home as the boys. Some household chores that must be done by children can be shared with the boys.
Parents should change their attitudes, too. There are some parents who tend to favor the boy child to a point of engaging them in biased competition with the girls.
All the children are equal and they should be treated equally.
As the saying goes ‘behind every successful man there is a woman’ should be put to deeper meaning. There cannot be a successful nation without a strong highly educated women base. Let the country invest in women’s prosperity.
The author is the Director Of Studies at Nu Vision High School, Kabuga.