Education is the cornerstone of development, unlocking doors to a brighter future. Education plays an essential role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The persistent challenge of education in African countries, particularly for adolescents, has always been an obstacle, contributing to the developmental lag experienced of these nations.
Adolescents out of school in 2012:
In 2012, a large percentage of adolescents were out of schools. Reasons vary but they can be summarized in
- Inadequate educational infrastructure
- Social disparities especially marriage
- Barriers to access in rural areas
- Shortage of qualified teachers
- Limited access to modern teaching materials
Adolescents-out-of-school rate in African Countries:
The map assures visually and represents educational challenge with larger red circles denote higher percentages where the adolescents-out-of-school rate is really high in comparison to other countries.
The high marriage rates in often limit access to formal learning opportunities. The social expectations surrounding marriage can act as a barrier, particularly for young girls, impeding their ability to complete their education. However, fast forward to 2022, a shift in the educational landscape had occurred. In 2016, marriage rates for girls under 15 stood at a shocking 93%. However, a line chart traced a journey of change from 2016 to 2017, witnessing a substantial drop to 62%. The trend continued into the years 2020 and 2021, where the marriage rate further decreased to a promising 29%.
Now, this shows the rate of out-of-school adolescents that had fallen. Hope began to blossom becoming an inspiration of progress in the (SDGs).
Correlation between Marriage and School enrollment:
The story unfolded with a realization – the decline in early marriages played a key role in fostering educational empowerment with a correlation between decrease in marriage rates and increase in school enrollment. Yet, a small number is still beyond the ideas of education.
Urgent Call for action:
- Community Engagement and Awareness
- Investment in Infrastructure
- Government Policy Reforms
- Teacher Training and Support
- Partnerships with NGOs and Corporations
- Monitoring and Evaluation
The tale of progress in African education reminds the world that transformation is possible when communities unite, prioritize education, and nurture the dreams of their youth…
FROM “Man up, you can’t be depressed just because this happened!” TO “Why are you looking so sad and tired? Are you depressed? You can talk to me if you want..”
To begin with, according to the World Bank dataset on development indicators, it is clear that men’s average suicide mortality rate is significantly higher than females.
Surprisingly, males are three times more suicidal than females, reaching an average of 14.3 male suicides per 100,000 males, while 4.4 female suicides per 100,000 females.
But why is this the case?
While comparing countries with high unemployment rates and countries with low unemployment rates, the following analyses were investigated:
To begin with, in Countries with highest unemployment rates, the suicide mortality rates for both men and women are higher.
However, when faced with difficult economic situations:
- Females suicide mortality rates were higher by 150%
- Males suicide mortality rates were higher by 217%
This leads to the conclusion that men’s mental health tends to be more susceptible to financial burdens.
So, what should be done?
A potential solution would be providing unemployment benefits, which are governmental compensations that are provided for unemployed people. These compensations help secure a stable income after the layoff of an employee, and they improve unemployed people’s productivity in the labor market by improving job matching and connecting employees to employers.
In addition, this solution can be helpful in mitigating the impact of unemployment on the psychological wellbeing of people.
As the following illustration shows, both females’ and males’ suicide mortality rates are higher in countries with lower adequacy and coverage of unemployment benefits
More specifically, males’ suicide rates are 31% lower in countries with high adequacy and coverage of unemployment benefits.
Thus, in order to mitigate the males’ suicide mortality, several recommendations are suggested to be effective.
- First, it is highly recommended that suicide prevention groups intensify their focus on men and encourage them to express themselves and seek psychological help.
- Equally important, in countries with high unemployment rates, governments should work on providing unemployment benefits and ensure their wide coverage of the unemployed.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a surge in student suicides.
The reasons are numerous ranging from:
1. The challenge of remote learning including its impact on grades
2. Students trying to socialize from their bedrooms instead of enjoying normal on-campus activities.
However, suicide among college students was always present even before the pandemic and it is imperative to mitigate its impact.
Schools and universities should:
-Spread suicide awareness and prevention campaign to eliminate its stigmatization.
-Launch counseling program that offers therapy for people in need.
-Consider modifying the educational system to reduce stress among students.
Suicide is an act that is against the human’s instinct. As living creatures, we are built to survive no matter how hard the circumstances are. But if so, then how does some people do such an act, which is completely against our human nature? Many factors can lead to someone committing such a terrible act, such as cultural, family and social situations, genetics, experiences of trauma or loss, and most importantly nihilism and the absurdity of life. In the following dashboard, we will be highlighting the countries that present the highest suicide rate, while also focusing on the “why” these countries do have such a high rate. We will also provide some solutions to this problem.
Since 2000 Guyana is witnessing an increase in number of suicides. This increase should grab communities attention to work hard on reducing this rate. We have to instill hope again in every home in Guyana.