Each morning I see a baby girl in my neighbourhood clutching her baby sister while watching her age mates and brothers go to school. Her pregnant mother has left home to hustle for money for food. By the time the baby on the girl’s tiny back is old enough to move independently, the one in the womb will be ready for the babysitter again and mom will probably be pregnant. The cycle continues. But we are told when you educate a girl you educate the society. A society grows at the speed of snail when almost half of the population (female) are out of school. For those of us from Akwa Ibom State, it means an increase in population of house girls and “baby mamas” (underage mothers). Yet no concrete government policy exists beyond the empty noise of free education. Sad. Can someone tell parents to have the number of children they can train? Can they be told free vaccines mean a lower mortality rate for children, so they no longer need a football team? Whither the dozens of church parishes on every street? Can’t they go beyond the campaign for tithes and offering and six to six fasting and prayers almost seven days a week? Are NGOs only out for grants which end up in their private bank accounts? We need educated people and government to canvass against the high dropout rate among girls. Children are free gifts from God, but higher blessings go to parents when their children are well cared for.

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