While Ghana’s goal is education for all students, this task is not yet accomplished.
There are several non-profit organizations as well as USAID that sponsor a program to get girls into school.
Many of you asked why the girls have short hair. The answer was pretty simple… to keep them from primping in school and keep them focused. Also, since some students are older (jr high ranged from 14-22), they have the girls shave their heads so they can tell the difference between younger teachers and older students. Some students may be older because they had family obligations, couldn’t afford school, or didn’t pass the national exam. One teacher said,”They can stay in school until they pass if they can ‘behave like a student.'”
These girls are beautiful:
Why are the girls not in school?
– Traditionally they are suppose to be cooking and cleaning. So, education isn’t necessary. Providing is the man’s job.
– Some schools are a 3 mile walk. So, some girls were getting raped on the way to school, and parents wanted to protect their daughters.
– Some are betrothed to men as you g as 5-6. Then, they are married at 10-11. They are not to “waste” their child-bearing years in school. (Note, this is the traditional idea, there are many progressive women going to the university and marrying in their 30s).
– They can make money for the family working
– This is a bigger problem in northern Ghana but happens many places.
So, the non-profits go speak to young girls and their parents about the importance of education. They are told about scholarship programs from USAID so the family won’t lose income when their daughter goes to school.
Effect, more and more girls are in school. In fact, girls are consistently out performing boys in the sciences. More women are ranking higher than men in Law School.
The perception of female education is a social issue which is SLOWLY changing.
This all links back to our essential question for the year: How does culture impact perception of justice?