Educate African boys to help secure their future!
A lot has been said about education issues in Africa, but did you know boys are worse off in some regions? It’s time we address this gender gap and educate our African boys to secure their future.
I’m a World Literacy Foundation Ambassador and I grew up in Nigeria. As the Lead Execution Officer of Boys Quarters Africa (a boy child transformation movement), I’ve helped engage over 5,000 boys across 11 cities in Africa.
Issues affecting African boys
A recent study by Edu Celeb showed that there are more boys than girls out of school in Nigeria. The worst region is Kamo State where almost 750,000 boys don’t go to school!
Through our work at Boys Quarters Africa we’ve discovered some key problems impacting the education of African boys:
There’s a widespread assumption in African society, that boys will be okay and don’t need the same support as girls. This is simply not true. All children, regardless of sex, should be offered assistance where there is a need. It’s a dangerous proposition to think one gender is better able to deal with hardships like a lack of education.
According to UNICEF, more than 1000 children have been abducted by Boko Haram in North-Eastern Nigeria since 2013. The global focus has been mainly on the 247 Chibok girls who were abducted from their secondary school. However, countless boys have been abducted in Africa too.
Despite this, there’s been little in-depth research or funding focused on endangered boys, particularly in Nigeria. Many abducted boys are recruited to join criminal circles and go on to abduct their sisters and mothers creating an abduction cycle that’s reinforced.
What can be done?
We need to recognize that boys are children too to overcome gender conditioning. Conversations about how to support all African children, not just girls, are needed.
At Boys Quarters Africa, we reach out to boys at juvenile homes through divergent empowerment programs. We also give boys access to digital tools to educate and prepare them for the future.
I believe educating African boys will help secure their future so they can reach their true potential.
As a WLF Ambassador, I will be looking at a grass-root mobilization for boys’ education to look at what else can be done to address the problem.