These are the times when more and more children are going to school, but there is so much to do to improve those numbers. Sub-Saharan regions in Africa is the poorest in education. Children there need to leave or never even start schools, leaving them without basic skills. Classroom seems to look like a magical place which can solve a lot of problems, but behind those walls there is still poverty, inequality, discrimination, cultural beliefs that stop children from having an opportunity to learn. In this post we are going to look what challenges communities are facing and what education system needs to fight to be able to grow or be implemented.
Communities and struggles
Poverty is number one problem, because parents don’t have income to provide children not just education, but necessities too. Most people work in agriculture, it is their main income source. They are fighting the struggle, because seeds, equipment or even training is in a deficit, climate and environment adds to that too. It results into that families don’t have food, medicine and cannot afford education. Vulnerable children cannot attend schools because of inequalities. Disabled children, minorities and girls are discriminated, usually abused, forced to get pregnant at early age and marry while being just a child. Parents who themselves never stepped foot into school cannot support or understand child’s need to study, at home they are not able to teach them too. Because this kind of culture formed, education is not a priority, hard work and bringing food is. People are living from meal to meal, not understanding the need to save money or having enough to save and prepare child to go to school. They cannot or don’t have anything to invest in their future. This leaves the whole communities vulnerable and becomes a crisis, and then that crisis turns into a norm in these kinds of cultures.
Real challenge for schools
Environment in schools are not safe or suitable for children. Rural areas cannot provide with access to schools. When they are available, classrooms are poorly built, unsanitary, cannot fit as many children as it should, leaving someone outside the door. No toiletries, bathrooms in general can cause diseases that can be spread by contact or just air.
Teachers are not receiving proper training; no mentoring is happening in these rural areas. Basic qualification skills are missing. Teachers are using unconventional methods and that’s how education is suffering, and children are dropping out. Teachers don’t know how to motivate pupils and they are not motivated themselves, so sometimes don’t show up to work. Resources for learning like textbooks, games, paper, pencils are limited.
Policies and practices that are needed to keep schools functioning are missing too. They include comprehensive child protection and safeguarding policies, training for staff, management practices which can enable students to receive everything that is possible from education.