Day of the African Child is celebrated on the 16th of June every year to encourage people around the world to highlight the importance of improving the education system in Africa.
By Ivy Maloy
Day of the African Child was created as an awareness campaign to highlight the importance of what it means to be a child in Africa and the need to educate the Children of this continent. Day of the African Child is celebrated on the 16th of June every year to encourage people around the world to highlight the importance of improving the education system in Africa.
The theme for the Day of the African Child (DAC) 2021 is “30 years after the adoption of the Charter: accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children”. The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child established under Articles 32 and 33 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.
On 16th June, 1976, thousands of black students from Soweto, South Africa, protested the poor quality of their education by marching on the streets. The education system of Africa was riddled with systematic discrimination against black students. The students were segregated based on their race and were subjected to an inferior education in schools.
Over a span of two weeks, the students marched and were subsequently shot by the security forces. Hundreds of students were killed and the march came to be known as Soweto Uprising. The Day of the African Child was created in 1991 to honor the people who participated in the Soweto uprising on June 16, 1976.
The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of Children recognizes the importance of the Day of the African Child and advocacy tool in enhancing the visibility of the charter as well as promoting children’s rights and welfare issues and their rights.
Over the past years we have seen children particularly girls not being able to access education because of several factors such as pregnancy, early marriages and FGM. The girl child is often neglected especially in third world countries on matters concerning education.
We see that when parents lack money, mostly the girl child is told to drop out for a “while” until they get money. This is truly unfair and might end up bringing frustrations to the child. The frustrations may force her to get married or pregnant.
It is not only the girls who suffer though, even the boys do. Boys are seen as a “stronger gender” hence sometimes they are forced to drop to go and fend for the family as they are “men”. This cycle has to stop.
Every child has a rights. And all the rights must be followed and respected by everybody and anyone who does not should be persecuted and sentenced accordingly.
Children should be protected at all costs! As we celebrate this day, let us all spread awareness about the strife of children and create a measure to improve the education systems of every country.