Statement on the International Day of Education

“Comprehensive awareness campaigns on the amendments to the Education Amendment Act are key to bridging the inequality gap in education among boys and girls, especially in disadvantaged communities.”

IThemba for Girls Trust joins the world in commemorating the International Day of Education set aside by UNESCO to promote education as a human right that plays an important role in achieving Sustainable Developmental Goal 4. SGD 4 is a developmental goal that seeks to ensure inclusive, equitable and quality education that promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all. As IGT commemorates International Day of Education, gender inequality in education remains a national crisis, which greatly affects “learning opportunities for all”. Comprehensive awareness campaigns on the amendments to the Education Amendment Act are key to bridging the inequality gap in education among boys and girls, especially in disadvantaged communities.

In Zimbabwe, gender inequality among boys and girls in education continues to widen as girls continue to face challenges that affect their pursuit of education. The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown has further exacerbated the inequality and widened the gap as disadvantaged girls have been exposed to a higher rate of sexual abuse and harassment during the period. The increased exposure diminishes opportunities of acquiring quality education and perpetuates the cycle of poverty.

While Zimbabwe has taken positive steps towards promoting the education of girls by passing amendments to the Education Amendment Act which allow for girls to continue attending school during pregnancies, information about the amendments have not been adequately disseminated. Rural communities continue to be uncomfortable with the notion of allowing pregnant girls in schools as there is a mistaken belief that it will encourage similar behavior amongst peers, a notion which can easily be dispelled by adequate and comprehensive education on the benefits of the amendment.

Source: IThemba for Girls Trust

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