There is no doubt that no nation can progress without its women and girls being empowered and given the tools that they need to stand on their own feet and contribute their quota to national development. This is why it is absolutely necessary for the girls to attain the highest level of education so that they can take their right places in the country.
It has however been noted that there are many hindrances to girls’ education in the world, and the Gambia in particular. It is well known that at the basic level in education, the country has almost attained parity as there are similar numbers of girls and boys. This is commendable.
It is sad therefore to note that once the transition to tertiary education occurs, many girls drop out for various reasons. Many a time, it is because of marriage or simply for lack of support from parents. Some girls get pregnant and drop out and others just do not have the financial ability to pursue higher education.
In a recent event, the Fatou Bah Barrow Foundation awarded ten scholarships to girls pursuing different degrees at the University of the Gambia. In her remarks, she said that she wants to inspire them to attain the highest level of education possible and that the sponsorship will continue until they complete their studies at the university.
This is a very noble and laudable gesture, as it will enable these girls achieve the highest level of education and then contribute to the development of the country. It will also incentivize other girls to work harder in school so that they can have the requirement to go to university knowing that there will be someone to help them reach their goals.
It is hoped that other Foundations and organisations in the country will take cue from the FaBB and extend a helping hand to girls from poor families so that they can also achieve their dreams of higher education. With a highly educated population, particularly among women, the country can develop within a short time.