6.2 million Nigerian girls out of school


No fewer than 6.2 million girls are out of school in Nigeria, the Minister of State for Education, Mr Nyesom Wike has said.

The minister made the statement at a one-day interactive meeting with stakeholders on girl-child education in Gusau, saying the figure represented 62 per cent of school age girls nationwide.

According to him, recent imbalance in enrolment figures of girls when compared to those of boys is about 10 per cent in the south and 40 per cent in the north of the country.

The minister said an estimated 10 million Nigerian children of primary school age were not enrolled in primary schools because of some challenges.

Such challenges include the lack of political commitment, poor planning and management as well as gender blind curriculum, he said.

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Others are skewed female-male teacher ratio, sexual harassment of girls, poverty and erroneous interpretation of religious teachings.

Wike said the fight against gender disparity should be the concern of all well-meaning Nigerians so that the country could attain the 2015 goal of Education For All.

He said the Federal Ministry of Education had continued to encourage partnership with states, local governments, international donor agencies and non-governmental organisations in efforts to remove hindrances to access to education.

The minister said the ministry had created more access to education for girls through the reduction of the gender gap, enhancement of the learning environment and establishment of culturally centered educational models.

The meeting was attended by the executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr Modibbo Mohammed, as well as UBEC officials from Zamfara, Kano, Kebbi and Sokoto states and traditional rulers.

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