Welcome to May!!
Mothers’ day is coming up soon, use that day to celebrate a mother or a soon-to-be mother. Mothers do a lot for our society and they deserve all the flowers in the world. So, we at Nucleus Africa wish you a Happy Mothers’ Day in advance.
How are you doing today? I know that the climate is not favourable right now but we will get through it because that’s the only option we are choosing. Speaking of an unfavourable climate, let us talk about what is going on across all of Africa and how it affects education particularly rural education. Have you read the news lately, the situation calls for a seat down and some strategies to ease these conflicts? Frankly, we all know it is unnecessary.
I do not know about you but, I am related to school-aged children and I have to say that they are a joy to have around however, it is time they return to physical schools so I can have some me-time/space; can you relate to this? If you cannot, lucky you. Sadly though, the many pandemics we are experiencing does not encourage physical schooling at this time.
At the moment the world is experiencing a pandemic and it appears that the COVID 19 brought to light the many other pandemics we have been facing in Africa. Currently, there are ongoing conflicts in many countries in Africa and the aftermath has been devastating; particularly, the education sector is suffering as a result. Rural education is the bedrock to reducing the rise in illiteracy and poverty in any nation.
Conflict most times are predictable, history has shown that conflict is an ongoing process in human relations and it can occur within and, between groups of people. For instance, the frequent occurrence of Fulani herdsmen and farmers crises has left an adverse effect on education for the people because of the fear of being kidnapped or killed. In Mozambique, there is an ongoing insurgence that has claimed many lives; in October 2020, secondary students were gunned down in Cameroun; in April 2021, students and staff were kidnapped from a university in Kaduna, Nigeria; in the Democratic Republic of Congo is still suffering from on-going violent conflicts and many more countries, to say the least. The government is focusing its resources on keeping the urban areas free of crisis but that leaves the rural areas vulnerable to the worst attacks.
Global Monitoring Report (2011) highlights reports that children and schools are increasingly on the front line of armed conflicts, with classrooms, teachers and pupils seen as legitimate targets (O’Malley, 2010). Children are often forcibly recruited as soldiers (United Nations, 2010). Rape and sexual violence are still used as weapons of war and the psychological trauma for those affected inevitably impairs learning whilst the threat of such violence further impairs mobility and stops children from attending school. Mass displacement continues to be a significant consequence of violence and UN data suggests that almost half of the 43 million people displaced globally are under 18. Conflict represents a major impediment for the realization of the EFA and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially for the universal completion of primary education and gender equality in primary and secondary education (Buckland 2005, 1).
Education is also a means by which social and cultural values are transmitted from generation to generation and it can play important roles in supporting stability and economic resilience when children and young people are educated or trained to support positive social change. In societies that have experienced violent conflict, education also has another important role in longer-term, post-conflict development to help successive generations understand the violent conflict that took place within their society and potentially contribute towards future peacebuilding.
Today, most schools are in lockdown because of the COVID 19 pandemic but also due to the rising insecurities in many societies. Therefore, lessons are conducted online using zoom, skype, and other education online learning platforms. For most schools in Africa, this method of teaching is not sustainable as many schools do not have access to the internet or a computer. Students in the urban areas may have access to the facilities for online schooling but those in the rural areas will not thereby, taking the rural education backwards: affecting the success of combating illiteracy.
Are you a parent, guardian or a person related to school-aged children? Then, we can agree that there is an urgent need for a solution to these issues so that students are not taken back by five (5) years compared to their counterparts in other countries: every child should have the opportunity to receive quality education.
“A bright future of the African continent is dependent on the prosperity of rural education”
Tell us what your experiences with your school aged children has been like, we look forward to reading them.
Stay safe and have a great month of May.