A new generation of African children to educate keep safe

unicef unite for children in africaThere are more young people under the age of 20 (years old) living in Africa than anywhere else in the world. With such a high number of young adults, you might expect this massive continent to be more progressive in terms of politics and social issues, yet there remains an inherent challenge when it comes to them. 

Who will protect young Africa now?

While it remains true that several gains have been made over the years as far as the welfare of young people in Africa is concerned, a lot still needs to be done.The apartheid in South Africa that was introduced by the European colonialists as well as segregation in other African countries during the colonial period discriminated against African children and the local population in general. African children could not go to good schools as their white counterparts, have the same opportunities or dare to pursue greatness. Only imagine what that must be like, to be confined to a mediocre life by unfair rules and policies. Along came independence, and a new dawn was ushered in, of hopes and dreams especially for the younger generation are quickly fading.

Educating young people for the future

Young people people have a right to good education, health, employment, good governance and the freedom to exercise their democratic rights. Sometimes due to bad politics and poor leadership, these rights and freedoms have been threatened. Civil rights movements, international human rights organizations and different activists have been at the forefront in pushing for constitutional amendments to protect the young people of Africa. Some of the civil rights that have come as a result of this include the right to representation, education and employment among others.

Social media too has played a great role in bringing people together and holding governments accountable. Some African-American celebrities like Don Cheadle, Morgan Freeman, Will Smith and Alicia Keys have also been very vocal in raising awareness about the plight of African youth. Change is coming, and as time goes by, it may be the destiny of those young people of Africa to steer their continent to great heights.

Education for Africa: Can teachers reach the masses?teach with africa and give this children a future

Much of our modern society is educated to a level which gives credit to the standard of life we experience every day. Sadly for those who live in Africa, the education system is lacking in major standards which raises huge concerns for the next generation to come. In the current situation we find that classrooms are often crowded to the point where proper teaching methods have been reduced to lecture-like monologues. Students are often bored by the lack of attention that comes from the present teachers who battle with this daily situation. Another problem faced is the absence of base-level learning materials including books, pencils, and proper school desks!

This despairing image has impacted many of those who share their open public voice, and also happen to be famous African-American celebrities. It is well documented since 2007, that Oprah Winfrey is a helping to push for education through her institution called: “Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa”. Another, who’s an NBA Star is Dikembe Mutombo, runs a foundation dedicated to helping the Democratic Republic of Congo which provides health and education in addition to improving the lives for those who live there. And there is also the celebrated musician Harry Belafonte who worked as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF since 1987, and used his celeb status to raise millions of US dollars for African plight when he organized the song “We are the World”.

How many African children actually attend school?

Shocking census numbers provide a bigger picture which shows roughly 17 million throughout Africa who attend school, while there is another 100 million who should be in school. The epic failure of qualified teachers further illustrates this problem. The salaries paid to teachers are also part of the problem, as local governments have yet to improve a pay level that is attractive enough (despite political corruption), to initiate new teacher training courses.

Classrooms that are currently over-crowded also cannot provide the kind of hands-on ‘student to teacher’ attention which is normally part of the European and American teaching methods. Though there are some African governing powers who created free programs for learning, but these are only available for primary school children. What is worse is that parents do not feel the obligation to send their children to school unless there happens to be a regulation that requires public school attendance.

Do these children have a chance without an education?

get african children on the right path with an educationWithout any schooling, children largely are illiterate and never learn the basic skills needed to read or write. Those who do attend these schools find that their local government hasn’t provided the primary school supplies needed to make any kind of learning effective enough. This easily leads to high stress situations for teachers dealing with too many children every day, and students who have easily become bored or uninterested in learning altogether.

As if illness and disease in Africa is not bad enough, schools also become compromised by the surge of young children who suffer from sickness. Many of these schools do not have adequate toilets or washroom facilities. We are often asked for donations to help Africa, however the problem remains as bleak as ever with too few organizations who can provide enough help currently. Until the reality of why education would become important to Africa itself, we may not see this new Nation advance for yet another generation to come.