Saturday, May 22, 2010

UN Discusses How to Keep Girls in School

This week, Dakar is holding a U.N. Girl’s Education Initiative global conference in order to discuss strategies on how to send more girls to school for the long term. At this point, the number of children not attending primary school are still high with almost 72 million children not enrolled in 2007, most of who are living in areas like Africa and South or West Asia.

Despite the high number of children not enrolled in school, there has been some evidence of success in providing education for the world. For example, the gender gap in school attendance around the world has significantly decreased. In Senegal, the number of public schools has doubled in the last decade. There are, however, more issues of gender inequality in schools that must still be confronted. Girls in Dakar schools face violence, poverty, and a poor quality of education. Even with an increase in school attendance, the quality of education must also increase in order for attendance to be effective.

It is important to continue efforts aimed at increasing the number of children attending and completing school in order to help create a sustainable economy in which people can make a decent living. For girls, education can mean a decreased risk of violence, diseases, and exploitation. The cost of achieving universal primary education is about $16 billion annually - that is, less than 3% of the U.S. Defense Budget ($550 billion).

-Yashina Burns

Resource: VOANews