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UNICEF laments 10 million girls out of school in Nigeria



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From Agaju Madugba, Kano

The United Nations agency for children (UNICEF) says some 10 million school-age girls in Nigeria are out-of-school with most of them from northern parts of the country.

According to the Head of UNICEF Kano field office, Rahamah Muhammed Farah, in Nigeria, girls bear what he describes as a sizeable burden of the challenges that confront the education sector.

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Farah spoke on Wednesday in Kano at the opening ceremony of a media dialogue programme on Girls’ Education sponsored by the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development (FCDO) and implemented by UNICEF.

He said, “currently in Nigeria, there are 18.5 million out of school children, 60 per cent of these out-of-school children are girls – that is over 10 million girls are out of school

“Most importantly you will need to know that the majority of these out of school children are actually from northern Nigeria.

“This situation heightens the gender inequity where only one in four girls from poor, rural families complete Junior Secondary School education.

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“While the education crisis in Nigeria affects children across the country, some children are more likely to be affected than others, especially girls.

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“The situation with girls’ education in Nigeria has been further affected by attacks on schools as these attacks have created an insecure learning environment, discouraged parents and caregivers from sending their children to schools, while at the same time the students themselves become fearful of going to school.”

He noted that UNICEF has taken a number of measures including its School Emergency Preparedness and Response Plans to mitigate the impact of potential and actual threats on the education of girls. schools

“In Kano State, for example, through the Girls’ Education Project funded by FCDO, 300 SBMC members have been trained.

“Multi-sectoral task teams on school safety have also been established across all the 34 Local Government Areas of Katsina State to provide quick networking among actors on school security, with additional focus on the safety of the girl-child. “Additionally, 60 Junior Secondary Schools have developed emergency plans and tested the plans in evacuation drills.”