Thursday, 11 October 2012

One for the girls

When I was little I went to a local playschool, then as I grew up I attended standard state infant, junior and secondary schools.

My schools weren’t the best and certainly had their faults. I struggled with maths a little in junior school and my Mum ended up doing extra practice with me at home to help (I used to dread that times table tape!) In my secondary school I used to enjoy French but after our first year we were given one replacement cover teacher after another and our class had some pretty testing children so our language classes suffered.

At secondary school I decided to pick a selection of additional subjects for my ‘options’ including Food Technology and History.

I knew from a young age that I loved writing and I was a real bookworm, so I read books and wrote practice stories and newspaper articles non-stop. To help gain further qualifications for my planned writing career I attended sixth form college, where I chose to study English Language, Sociology and Media Studies, and also did a side of General Studies. I took part in a writing course and wrote for the college magazine.

Then after discovering having a degree would really help me in my future career as a journalist (my ambition since I was about 10 years of age), I went to University and came away with a 2:1 BA (Hons) in English Language and Linguistics, again doing additional courses along the way.

In my career I’ve worked my way up throughout various positions and at one point managed my own team. Last week we got told at my latest company about some changes in the business, one of which resulted in us now having a female CEO. Something which I feel can only lead to positive changes.

Why am I telling you all this? Today I found out via Twitter that it is ‘International Day of the Girl’

All these points throughout my educational life, I think I can pretty much say I’ve taken for granted. In that I’ve taken for granted the fact that I have access to such an education and a whole host of opportunities in front of me.

Today is all part of work by Plan UK and has been set up by the UN to raise awareness of girls and the possibilities we should have and how much we can achieve. I didn’t realise this but “globally, one in three girls is denied a secondary education by the daily realities of poverty, discrimination and violence”.

Plan UK in fact having a petition right now (which I of course have signed) to help ensure girls across the world have the right to an education and get the opportunities in learning they deserve.

I know we often look back over some things learnt at school as skills we feel we’ll never use, or we look fondly back over memories of making new friends and fun times at school and perhaps not the learning. But just imagine for one minute not having that option, not being able to read or write properly, not learning about other countries, religions, processes, histories and more. It makes for a pretty dire life and world indeed.

You can sign the petition here

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