Girl-Child Education

STEM: Parents should stop buying only dolls for girls

STEM - Edbuild Converge

Family plays a very pivotal role in the way children are raised and how their lives are shaped. As it is the smallest unit of society, whatever it does wrong or otherwise has a ripple effect on the larger world.

In spite of the innovations recorded in tech and its disruptive problem solving and futuristic properties, it still remains a surprise, albeit a sad one that children of both genders are not given the same opportunities.

Toys are important for a child’s learning and intellectual growth, they also enhance cognitive behavior and stimulate creativity.

However, the same way parents commit the error of designating seemingly “masculine” tasks to the boy child, while they allow girls to remain only in the kitchen, they also commit some blunders in their choice of toys for their children and wards.

Tasks like painting, fixing, plumbing and others are seen as a preserve of the male child while others like cooking and cleaning are reserved for the girl child, a seemingly innocuous cultural practice but ultimately goes a very long way in shaping how both genders turn out to be.

In choosing toys, we have seen a lot of parents go for toys like construction sets, building sets, engineering sets, mechanical toys and other toys that boost creativity, neuro coordination skills for the male children while others like dolls, jump rope, role-play dolls and others are seen as appropriate for the girls.

If science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) would eventually become an area where both genders are given the same opportunity and a level playing ground especially in Africa, then it must begin from the home and we must catch them young.

With the realization that for any organization and society to function optimally, contributions from both the male and female are crucial, girls cannot afford not to begin to see themselves as engineers and pilots from a very young age.

We must begin to challenge their cognitive and neurological skills and engage their hand-to-eye coordination.

Their creative ingenuity must be brought forth and their innovative thinking must be cultivated.

They can aspire to be astronauts and pilots, geo physicians and biomedical engineers, artificial intelligence experts and robot programmers.

This especially must be deployed in Africa as a lot of feminine, creative energy being eroded away on a daily as a result of parenting and the hackneyed and retrogressive view that “a woman’s place belongs to the kitchen and money invested in the girl child is wasted as she would eventually end up in her husband’s house and kitchen”.

People make culture, culture doesn’t make people and the aspects of our culture that have been drawing us back over the years need to be completely expunged in order to give room for a progressive and promising future, which is already here.

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