With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the schooling system has been fortunate enough to adapt to the situation by hosting video calls. During this time virtual calls proved to be a safer way to educate our children. However, remote schools disproportionately handicap poorer students. They may have limited access to the internet and very little supervision.
With this in mind it is very important that the U.S. does its part to help developing countries strengthen their educational systems. According to the article “What’s Up With Education in Uganda,” by Elizabeth Qiao, only one in four children who start primary school in Uganda make it to secondary school. Most girls do not attend secondary school due to forced marriages, sexual abuse, or pregnancy. To add onto that, the virus creates an even less safe learning environment for children in developing countries as they do not have access to internet-based calls.
As an ambassador for the Borgen Project, a nonprofit focused on eliminating global poverty, and a resident of Santa Clarita, I thank Rep. Mike Garcia for supporting the Keeping Girls in School Act. The benefit of girls’ education will help lift households, communities and nations out of poverty. The act requires the State Department and USAID to update the U.S. Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls and submit an update to Congress every five years. The act will also employ monitoring and evaluation strategies to ensure that programs significantly close the gender gap in secondary education.
More work needs to be done to fix these education systems. Acts like this are a step in the right direction to educate all children in a safe, healthy environment. These children do not have a voice in their future, so it is up to us to express a concern for these issues. I encourage you to reach out to your congressional leaders, encouraging them to support life-saving bills. It all starts with a quick email or phone call.