#DayOfTheGirl: See Kogi Community Where Girls Swap Education With Farming
It is the International Day of the Girl Child dubbed '#DayOfTheGirl' and while the world marks this day celebrating the future mothers, some girls in some parts of Nigeria have been subjected to farming, not by their parents or by personal choices, but because they have no school to attend.
A community, Ugbedomagwu in Kogi State, is one of such places where education is a luxury.
It is under Igalamela-Odolu Local Government Area of the state and has been in existence for over 300 years.
But the years of existence has not reflected in the lives of the residents whose major means of livelihood is agriculture.
Kamishire is six years. A dark and beautiful girl who knows nothing more than her community, with little or no education at all.
Her interest of going to school still burns, but no one knows how long this candle will last before the light is put off totally.
In the community, a primary school that used to function well has been abandoned by teachers sent there, who find it hard to stay put.
At six, she battles to write 1, 2, 3.... which children that are two or three could do easily in some other communities in the state. She tried to scribble a few on the ground, but her 4 was facing the other way while 9 was written as P.
It was the little she had managed to learn from a private school in the community which could be too expensive for her parents who have not received any stipend for the very poor which the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari also gives out.
The girl child deserves education.
Her community has a primary school building rehabilitated by ActionAid Nigeria, but the classrooms have become a place for goats to play and defecate. It smells like a barn.
Bounce News was in the community to feel what life was like without mobile network, education, electricity and good road.
Every morning Kamishire wakes up and prepares for farm, which her parents engage in. Her parents could not afford to send her to nearby communities where operational education facilities ended in that axis.
Teachers had been sent to her school, but a life lived like one in the past, often ensures that the teachers run after few days in the community.
You are cut off from the world and the life of a farmer becomes the only thought that the mind can process in the location.
It appears the government had abandoned the community to their fate as far as education is concerned.
The current government had introduced a school feeding programme meant to attract more children to school, but Ugbedomagwu appears to have been omitted in the list of communities who needed such boost.
Education is what they need, but when they will have it, is in the hands of the government.
In the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, there is Education 2030 Framework for Action, and this SDG 4 aims to ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ and SDG 5 specifies the need to ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.’
But in Ugbedomagwu, the last project of the government that reached the community was an MDG water project built in 2012.
Save the girl child, give her a future of full of great things, give her education.
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