Thursday, October 15, 2009

A New Generation

In a recent post, we highlighted the Kindergarten graduation at CRM's school. The pictures of the little ones in their graduation attire are adorable, of course. Yet, there is another interesting aspect to this event that makes it important to a broader audience than families and friends of the graduates.

These children are the leading edge of a post-war generation – they represent the first children in a generation to go to school in peace in Liberia and they are the first children in Liberia whose leader looks like a mother, not a father. It will be interesting to watch how the influence of peace and women's empowerment will change the lives of these children as the nation pulls out of its long period of strife, chaos and war.

Already there are clear signs of major positive changes in the culture. The CRM graduation picture shows a nearly 50-50 ratio of boys to girls- evidence of the newly embraced issue of equal educational opportunity for girls and boys. Under the leadership of President Johnson-Sirleaf and the influence of international emphasis on improved opportunity for women, there is a conscious national effort to educate girls. Educational institutions and educators are committed to educating the entire nation (not just the male half), and cultural values are changing also. Lott Carey Mission School, where LOEP will be training teachers in February, 2010, is a progressive institution whose web site proudly claims a 48-50 girl-boy ratio.

The CRM graduation indicates far more than a personal milestone for those little graduates - it represents a national milestone for Liberia raising a generation of children in peace who accept equal opportunity for both genders.

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