[b]Kids around the world are out of school. Millions of girls might not go back.[/b]
Global shutdowns have pushed about 1.5 billion students out of school since March, according to a United Nations Children’s Fund report citing data from UNESCO, including 111 million girls in the world’s least developed countries.
Experts say that parents in more traditionally conservative nations tend to prioritize the education of their sons. For example, in West and Central Africa, 73 percent of boys older than 15 can read, compared to 60 percent of girls in the same age group. In Guinea, another hot spot, girls were 25 percent less likely than boys to re-enroll when life settled back to normal.
Additionally, when families lose income, they’re more likely to stretch the budget on schooling for boys. Remote learning is also more burdensome on girls because they have to do housework, while also being more vulnerable to sexual abuse, pregnancy and child marriage during unsupervised downtime.
Many teachers, including Eric Tahé, a grade school teacher in northern Ivory Coast, want to help girls still receive schooling during the pandemic, especially in households where the parents might use the pandemic as an excuse not to send girls back to school.
During two months of lockdown this spring, the teachers met with moms and dads, explaining the importance of remote homework and how too many chores could throw their daughters off the academic track.
However, even with these efforts, it is still difficult for many girls who want to further pursue their education but their families won't let them.
Givology Staff's Blog
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