The average girl stays in school only through age nine in Nigeria — UNICEF

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[Lagos]–The United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) has revealed that the average girl stays in school only through age nine in Nigeria. Less than one-third of girls in Nigeria enroll in the lower secondary school, and in northern Nigeria, less than one in 10 girls generally complete secondary education.

This was made known by UNICEF Communications Officer, Lagos, Blessing Ejiofor, who made this known in a release at the launch of UNICEF’s Girls for Girls (G4G) initiative which was in line with the celebration of the Day of the African Child, yesterday. This is an international event held over the years to remember some children in South Africa killed for demanding their rights to good and qualitative education.

The initiative, according to Guardian, in partnership with Federal Ministry of Education and the State’s Universal Basic Education Boards, seeks to empower girls with information and knowledge to help build their capacity to stand up for themselves. In the first phase of the initiative, one million girls from Bauchi, Niger, Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara states would be enrolled in school.

UNICEF said listed the primary goal of G4G as empowerment of girls with knowledge, skills and confidence needed to enroll and remain in school, completing the full course of education, so they can be role model to other girls in their communities.

“Working with members of the Mothers Association as mentors, girls would initiate and lead a range of activities to identify barriers to the education of girls in their communities and work to remove such barriers, so girls will enroll and remain in school,” it said.

“The G4G initiative is a commitment to improve the quality of girls’ and ultimately women’s lives by empowering girls through education,” UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Mohamed Fall, said.

“By educating girls, practices such as early marriage will be uprooted and girls will be empowered to contribute to the development of their communities, states and Nigeria,” he noted.

“The focus states have the highest number of girls who do not attend school in Nigeria. Despite important education gains in recent decades, Nigeria still has the largest number of girls not in school,” he added.

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