AU puts girls front and centre of back to school drive

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Harare - The African Union - through its International Centre for Girls and Women Education in Africa (AU/CIEFFA) - has embarked on a mission to ensure girls across Africa countries get back to school with or without a COVID-19 pandemic.

AU/CIEFFA recently launched the “Africa Educate Her’ campaign that seeks to raise awareness of things hindering girls and women from accessing education during the COVID-19 pandemic, making it a rallying call for AU member states to take positive action to improve access to education.

According to UNESCO, millions of girls in Africa do not have access to e-learning, which has been the delivery method of choice following the closure of schools to avert the spread of the new coronavirus.

The AU/CIEFFA comes as many SADC countries are re-opening of schools.

AU/CIEFFA head of mission Dr Rita Bissoonauth this week underscored that education was a basic human right.

“This campaign seeks to bring awareness around issues that hinder girls and women from accessing education during the covid19 pandemic. As part of the campaign AU/CIEFFA sees to highlight the experiences of learners, especially girls at primary, secondary and tertiary level during the COVID-19-related school closure. We also request that African youth together with development partners and governments to promote and protect girls’ rights to education in times of crisis.”

Dr Bissoonauth went on: “Education is a basic human right and not a privilege. We understand that once girls are taken out of schools, the probability of them going back is very low. This is not to say that we are forgetting the boys, but we should not forget that women are most vulnerable.” 



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