This International Women’s Day, we highlight the contributions of women in the education sector. Today, we meet three women in education, a Principal, a new teacher and a mother. The Principal wakes up early in the morning. Her alarm is set for 0430 hours. She prepares breakfast for her family, gets ready for school. She drops her three oldest children at school and drives the youngest to her mother- in- law for the day. At 0600hours she opens her office and sweeps it. She dusts her desk. The teacher on duty pops in at the door to say, ‘Good morning, Principal’. The first few students walk by to their classes.

The new teacher wakes up at five. She gets ready. Her mother hands her a cup of black tea. ‘No other breakfast today, but I have a cassava piece for your walk to school’. It is 0600 hours. The new teacher grabs the cassava, runs out of the door, she continues to run cross country and arrives at school 0700hours. She walks into her class and calls the roll-call. Three students are missing. ‘Anyone know where they are?’ One hand shoots up. ‘Her mother had a baby and the mother is sick today, she has to take care of her siblings, she may show up later’. No one knows where the other two are. ‘I will stop by their homesteads on my way home and check on them’.

Behind the success of the education sector is THE MOTHER. The mother digs the library foundation, she fetches water for school building construction, sends children to school, she attends mobile library clinics, teaches, she is the activist and overall, she is the backbone in the education sector.

Happy International Women’s Day.