Voices Of Youth

The struggle for girls' education

Too many of us complain about going to school every morning, saying it starts too early and that most of the things taught in school are irrelevant to our daily lives.

We should be appreciating our education, especially us, girls, remembering that there are

31 million girls of primary school age in other countries still being denied an education, despite the efforts of many organisations such as Unicef and female education activists such as Malala Yousafzai.

Many fail to realise that education for girls may just be the catalyst that ends the cycle of poverty.

Girls may be denied an education for many reasons.

School fees may cost too much and contribute to the financial burden of a poor family.

Families may choose to send their sons to school and insist their daughters stay at home to cook and clean; the journey to and from school may be too dangerous for girls to travel.

The high rate of child marriages also contributes to the fact that many girls have to drop out of school at a young age to get married.

A lot of effort has been put into changing the attitudes that lead to girls not being educated.

But more importantly, what can we do to help? We can start by learning more about this issue. We can also talk about it with friends and start fund-raisers to help this cause.

And, of course, we should appreciate our education.

Nicole Seow, 16, Secondary 4 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 16, 2015, with the headline ''. Print Edition | Subscribe