Education is the key to eradicating poverty in Africa

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)

Teachers demonstrate care and love to children while they are at school.

In this reflection of the International day of Family, Sr. Veronika discusses how providing high quality education from the family level to higher institutions can eliminate poverty in African societies.

The family unit is a very crucial and fundamental pillar in child development. A good family can be recognized in the way they live and interact with society. Children learn culture, ethics and norms from their family.

The Drop in Family Values

The drastic drop of morality in families is a critical challenge and burning issue to the betterment of the future generation. Why are babysitters playing the role of the parents and the guardian of siblings? Why street children? Why underage pregnancy? Why are students are performing poorly in fundamental primary education? We need to review the moral ethics on the family level and be more responsible to our children.

The Influence of Media on Culture

In recent African culture, it seems the young generation are ignoring their culture and adapting to the imported culture they see in the media and online. Luxury-inspired youth to run from the villages to town expecting to attain good life and conducive atmosphere. The young future generation engage in drug abuse and prostitution character. The vast majority of children with disabilities are neglected and left idle in the village.  It seems that the development of science and technology has also caused the family unit to suffer.

Free Primary and Secondary Education in Tanzania

Congratulations to the Tanzanian government, which joined hand in hand with private education sectors to establish free quality education for all ages. On November 27, 2015 the Tanzanian government issued Circular 5 which implements the Education and Training Policy 2014 and directs public bodies to ensure that secondary education is free for all children. This includes the removal of all forms of fees and contributions. With this Circular, the government has gone beyond its Constitutional obligation to provide free, quality primary education and brings Tanzania in line with the target of Sustainable Development Goal 4 which requires States to ensure that everyone “completes free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education”. The directive now means that children in Tanzania will enjoy eleven years of free schooling. [Source]

Free education in Tanzania provides opportunity to many children and will lead to intellecutal, social, economical and spiritual development in Tanzania.

The Family’s Role in Education

The primary goal and objective, to safeguard our future generation, starts on the family level.  Parents and guardians need to play the essential role of caregiver to their children. Parents and guardians are responsible for the protection and maintenance of their families. 

The Church’s Role in Education

Religious women provide hope to vulnerable people. The work of nuns in child development, promotion of peace, justice and love can be observed in all of their mission activities.  The Catholic Church and other good wisher institutions focus on promoting quality education opportunities from early childhood to adulthood. Catholic women religious teach social norms and provide high quality education in every category group in the family.

One good example in Tanzania is Mkombozi Montessori Pre and Primary School. It is located at Mbagala Chamazi - Dar es Salaam and is run by the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer, Tanzania. This new school (about 6 years old) is growing very fast due to the high quality of education it provides. Today the school encompasses over 200 students in three levels of kindergarten as well as Standards I through III. Each year our institution has been expanding in order to accommodate more and more students who join our program.

The Future

It is really sad to observe the increase of street, ignorant and vulnerable children in the society.

High quality education is a crucial aspect in the development and growth of Africa. It is possible to reduce or even eliminate poverty in Africa if parents and guardians work to fulfil the educational needs of their families.

When children are well-educated they become supportive members of society. They will assist in teaching moral ethics at family-level and work to accelerate economic expansion of the nation. Every parent should empower their child with quality education. In turn, children will grow up to use their education to help develop the Tanzanian economy.

Children are humble, innocent, and live like angels, thus we should educate, love and rescue them from unsecured morality for the betterment of their life and the nation at large.

The International Day of Families is observed on the 15th of May every year.This year’s observance focuses on the role of families and family-oriented policies in promoting education and overall well-being of their members. In particular, the Day is to raise awareness of the role of families in promoting early childhood education and lifelong learning opportunities for children and youth. [Source]

Be a Ray of Hope

Communities across Africa are counting on Catholic Sisters, but 71% lack the education needed to carry out their important mission work. You can be a Ray of Hope for a Sister who needs you by donating to her education today.

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Sr. Veronika Francis Timalias, CSR

Sr. Veronika Francis Timalias, CSR
SLDI Alumna, 2015 - Tanzania  

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