The UNICEF, United Nations Children Fund, on Wednesday, 11 May, gave a red alert regarding 10 million girls not going to school in Nigeria.
Rahama Farah, Chief of UNICEF Field Office located in Kano, raised the alarm during a conference on Girls’ Education under the Girls’ Education Project, GEP, 3, supported by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office FCDO and enforced by UNICEF.
Farah stated the 10 million counts for 60% of the 18.5 million total number of out of school children in the nation, stressing that the majority of out of school students are from Northern Nigeria.
As per him, “Presently in Nigeria, there are 18.5 million out of school children, 60% of these among these school children are girls – that is more than 10 million girls are out of school. Most notably, you will need to know that most of these out of school children are actually from northern Nigeria.”
“This problem heightens the gender inequity, where only one in four girls from impoverished, rural families complete Junior Secondary school education. Attacks have also impacted the situation with girls’ education in Nigeria in schools. These attacks have created an uncertain learning environment and discouraged parents and caregivers from sending their children to school. At the same time, the students themselves become afraid of going to school. These attacks have specifically and particularly targeted girls.”
Farah stated the GEP 3 intervention is already giving results as no less than 1.4 million girls now have accessibility to education in the region of northern Nigeria, saying, “These interventions are enabling girls to attend school. But still, a lot needs to be done to assure that every girl in Nigeria is enrolled, attends school and completes her education.”
On her part, Michael Banda, Education Manager UNICEF Field Office in Kano, said the children were out of school because of early marriage and transition, among others, because there was no practical execution of policies to support educational development.