Struggling after Ebola, Liberian girls miss school to work, sell sex

By Reuters

After Ebola, more girls in Liberia are missing out on school to help their families, while those in education are pressured to have sex or pay bribes for grades or simply to sit exams, a charity said on Monday.

School fees, extra costs such as uniforms, books and transport, and the need to work to boost family income are forcing many girls to drop out of school or preventing them from getting an education, according to Britain-based Street Child.

“Ebola saw poverty levels rise significantly at the same time that education was interrupted,” Street Child programmes manager Felicia Dahlquist told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The world’s worst Ebola outbreak, which was declared over last year, killed 4,800 Liberians and dragged economic growth down from over 8 percent in 2013 to zero in 2015.

“It is difficult to get children back into school … there is an expectation that if children want to go, they have to work evenings and on the weekends to pay the fees,” Dahlquist added.

Four in 10 girls interviewed by Street Child said they could not study after school as they had to work, while two-thirds of those who dropped out of education said it was due to poverty, found a survey of around 1,000 girls in the West African nation.

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Source: News Now/Reuters

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About Cholo Brooks 5299 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists.