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UNICEF raises the alarm as number of out of school girls in Nigeria rises above 10m

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The United Nations Children Fund, (UNICEF), has raised an alarm as the number of out of school girls in Nigeria has shot up to more than 10 million.

The Chief of UNICEF Field Office in Kano, Rahama Farah, raised the alarm on Wednesday at a Media Dialogue on Girls’ Education under the Girls’ Education Project (GEP 3), funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), of the global agency.

Farah disclosed that the 10 million out of school girls represents 60 percent of total number of 18.5 million out of school children in the country, with majority of them from northern Nigeria.

“Currently in Nigeria there are 18.5 million out of school children, 60 percent of these out of school children are girls – that is over 10 million girls are out of school,” Farah said.

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

Read also :8 years after Chibok abduction: 1436 students, 17 teachers kidnapped, 16 students killed from Dec 2020 —UNICEF

“This situation heightens the gender inequity, where only one in four girls from poor, rural families complete junior secondary school education.

“The situation with girls’ education in Nigeria has been further affected by attacks on schools. 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.

“These attacks have particularly and specifically targeted girls.”

Farah said the GEP 3 intervention was already yielding results as no fewer than 1.4 million girls now had access to education in northern Nigeria.

“These interventions are encouraging girls to attend school. But a lot still needs to be done to ensure that every girl in Nigeria is enrolled, attends school and completes her education,” he said.

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