4 Million Girls Out Of School


The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Haijya Zainab Maina, says it is regrettable that more than four million girls in Nigeria do not attend schools.

Maina who said this on Sunday in Abuja in a statement signed by Saghir el-Mohammed, her ministry’s Head of Communications, noted that the children are aged between six and 11.

“Rapid progress in girl’s enrolment, retention and completion will have to double as it is now, if Nigeria is to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of achieving gender parity in education by 2015.

“This will also help in targeting and improving their participation in the socio-economic and political development of the nation,” Maina who had made an advocacy visit to the Government Girls Secondary School in Yola, Adamawa said.

The minister whose visit was part of a nationwide campaign stressed the need for improved quality education and equal opportunities for both women and men in terms of access.

“Access is essential to ensure that women of all ages acquire the knowledge, capacities, aptitude, skills and ethical values, needed to develop and participate in national development,” she said.

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Maina also noted that failure to allow the exercise of rights such as the right to education, political participation, and other opportunities would only worsen the country’s poverty situation.

She called on lawmakers in the country to legislate on the compulsory education of all children by their parents and guardians.

The minister pointed out that the girl-child was unfortunately discriminated against from birth to adulthood, due to some traditional and cultural norms.

She said as a result of prevailing gender disparities, most girls are excluded from schools and left uneducated.

“She (the girl-child) is saddled with household chores, and is only to be seen and not heard,” Maina lamented.

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