All Africa Students Union (AASU) has expressed worry over the difficulty in girls accessing education in some parts of Africa.

Over 11 million young girls are prone to remain home during the 2021 academic year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

To this end, the General Secretary of All-Africa Students Union (AASU), Peter Kwasi Kodjie is urging governments across the continent to take drastic measures to ensure that the education of these vulnerable girls is not truncated.  

In his solidarity message for 2021 to African governments and students on the continent, the Secretary-General of the largest student organization in Africa outlined several challenges impeding education in Africa, prominent amongst them being child labour.

“We also know that a lot of children are being forced into child labour due to pressures on their families to survive on account of the hardships inflicted by this pandemic.

“At this rate, all the gains we have made in the fights against child labour will be rolled back,” he said.

After commending the United Nations General Assembly for adopting 2021 as the international year for eliminating Child Labour, Mr Kodjie also called on all stakeholders to solidly stand together in 2021 to demand accountability from their respective governments and to ensure that they prioritize education and its related matters in Africa.

Mr. Kodjie further added that, AASU will commit to seven main objectives for the year, aimed at improving the educational sector in Africa. 

We commit to do the following in 2021;

1) Engage productively with governments to increase spending on education to ensure that no group is disproportionately affected by the impacts of the pandemic.

2) Continue to work with UNESCO and other global partners through the Global Education Coalition launched by UNESCO to ensure learning never stops.

3) Continue to work with the 100 Million Campaign and other partners to ensure that marginalized children get their fair share of the COVID-19 recovery funds.

4) Continue to work to ensure that governments, key institutions, and key actors become more responsive and conscious of the needs of students, young people, and marginalized groups amid the pandemic.

5) Continue to forge stronger partnerships and solidarity among young people to build broad coalitions to demand a robust COVID-19 recovery strategy that leaves no one behind.

6) Continue to promote a sense of urgency in our constituents to act and hold their governments accountable to save the loss of a generation.

7) Continue with the campaign for girls to return to school through UNESCO’s Gender Flagship Programme.

“Last year, we challenged our leaders on several forums and at every opportunity, and we did so together! We did so on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, the 2020 UNGA, and other key events.

“Together, we achieved much more than going at it alone. As we plan to build back better, we must do so together in solidarity. If anything, we have seen that our problems are common, and they befit a common response.

“As we start this year (2021), the All-Africa Students Union wishes all students of the African continent nothing short of happiness and peace, in what we expect to be an impact-filled year.