A youth group under the umbrella of ActionAid Liberia (Activista) has called on African governments to provide compulsory education for African children in order to compete with their counterparts in the rest of the world.
Speaking during the celebration of the Day of the African Child organized by Activista, Program Director Mr. Joseph Madzvanufe urged governments to prioritize education for the future of African children because it is the right of every child.
He noted that the standard of education for African children is very low and urged governments to improve their level of support to school going children.
He called on youth groups to mobilize support to help African children because it has been realized that the rights of children are violated and must stop in keeping with the convention of the United Nations on the rights of children.
“We are celebrating this day because we are paying homage to the school children who lost their lives in Soweto in 1976, that marked the beginning of a new charter to work with young people and help them through youth groups, such as Activista to mobilize and help to engage governments on the issues,” he said.
Many women and girls are raped and sexually harassed daily while many are out of school due to lack of financial support, among other issues, said Madzvanufe.
The right to education is very critical to the country because when children are educated they can contribute greatly to the success of the country, he said.
The director called on governments to work with partners in helping to improve the education system for children because there are many of them out of school while a majority have never been to school in their lives.
“This can be changed through the support of everyone, including parents, because the world is a global village and requires education and if African children must be liberated then education has to be the key,” Madzvanufe said.
The program was graced by youths, students, members of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), among others.
The DAC is being observed under the national theme “Crisis and Conflict in Liberia-Providing a Safe Space for Children’s Rights.”
On June 16 every year, governments, NGOs, international organizations and other stakeholders assemble to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the full realization of the rights of children in Africa.
The Day was first initiated by the then OAU in honor of hundreds of young students who participated in the Soweto uprising in 1976. Many of them were shot dead while protesting for improvement in the quality of their education and demanding their right to be taught in their own language instead of Africaans language of the white South Africans.
The DAC celebration also raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement in the standard of education provided to African children and to enroll and encourage school age children to stay in school and complete their education.