Introspection on the Day of the African Child: By Sandra Muzama
June 17, 2021
The commemoration of the 16th of June every year as the day of the African child calls for much introspection and commitment towards addressing the gross challenges in ensuring education for all children especially in volitile African environments where there is limitations in the application of a child rights based approach in developmental efforts and policies are insufficient to bridge the disparities for the rural ,marginalized and minority groups.This day can only make sense if stakeholders are reminded of their mandate in ensuring equal access to education,health,shelter and food ,critically so during this Covid_19 era which has accelerated the vulnerability of children by a huge margin.
Access to education continues to be threatened especially for the girl child by a surge in child marriages and teenage pregnancy which has continued to sail up in Mashonaland central,the area in which most of ROOTS ‘ activities are concentrated. For the ages of 13- 15 attaining ordinary level education is a near miracle in Mashonaland central where the culture of going to school after primary school is quickly being eroded in preference to marriage and joining the illegal gold panning ,which school authorities have reported as being a major concern for the region as education levels for the populations are direly stunted. Child marriages have also contributed to a vicious cycle of poverty for these young girls and their offsprings.This year’s agenda should zero in the underlying factors which have for the past 30 years huddled the attainment of the Charter’s objectives and probably propose productive,practical and sustainable strategies for the 2040 agenda since no tangible milestones have since been achieved for the Africa that is wanted for an African Child.