The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, issued a warning Wednesday that 10 million Nigerian girls were out of school.
Rahama Farah, the Chief of UNICEF’s Field Office in Kano, raised the alarm at a Media Dialogue on Girls’ Education sponsored by the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, FCDO, and executed by UNICEF.
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Farah said that the 10 million out-of-school children constitute 60% of the country’s total of 18.5 million out-of-school children, with the bulk being from northern Nigeria.
“Currently in Nigeria, there are 18.5 million out-of-school children, 60% of them are females – that is, over 10 million girls are out of school,” he says.
Above all, you should be aware that the bulk of these out-of-school youngsters is from northern Nigeria.
“This condition exacerbates gender disparities since just one out of every four girls from disadvantaged rural families completes Junior Secondary school.” Attacks on schools have exacerbated the issue with females’ education in Nigeria. These attacks have created an unsafe learning environment, deterring parents and caregivers from taking their children to school, while also making pupils scared of going to school. Girls have been deliberately targeted in these attacks.”
“These efforts are encouraging females to attend school,” Farah stated of the GEP 3 project, adding that “no fewer than 1.4 million girls now have access to education in northern Nigeria.” However, more work remains to guarantee that every Nigerian girl is enrolled, attends school, and completes her education.
“By enrolling more girls in schools and ensuring that they complete their education, we can achieve more by working together with government and development partners, parents, communities, traditional and religious leaders.”
We need the help of every ally and stakeholder, including the media, to achieve this goal. As a result, this Media Dialogue is both current and crucial in achieving these goals.
“I implore the media to campaign for additional financing and sufficient public resource allocation to the education sector, particularly adequate allocation and release of what has been authorized.” Girls’ education is hampered by a variety of obstacles. The media must also be in the forefront of advocating for action to remove these obstacles to girls’ education, such as child marriage.”
Michael Banda, Education Manager, UNICEF Field Office in Kano, said the children were out of school as a result of early marriage and transition, among other things, because policies to assist educational development were not properly implemented.
The Education Specialist, UNICEF Country Office in Abuja, Azuka Menkiti, stated the female child faces tremendous hurdles and impediments in her paper presentation titled “Why Girls’ Education is Important.”
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She, however, emphasized the importance of educating girls, noting that education for girls extends beyond enrolling them in schools, and that female education is viewed as a vaccination against poverty, overpopulation, and health indicators such as malnutrition and maternal mortality, among others.
Earlier, Kamaludeen Abdulhadi, Deputy Director Planning, Kano State Qur’anic and Islamiyya Schools Management Board, KSQISMB, said the media discussion aimed to analyze or monitor GEP 3 operations in the state from 2018 to date.
The GEP 3 project is being implemented in Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Bauchi, and Zamfara states.
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