The Country Director of Malala Fund in Nigeria, Crystal Ikanih has appealed to Stakeholders in the Education sector to invest more in girl child education, in order to bring about lasting peace and economic growth to the country.
She made the disclosure at the Stakeholders Breakfast on Education Reforms in Abuja.
According to her, Girls make up 50% of the general public, yet in Nigeria, 30% of girls aged 9-12 have never been to school at all.
Crystal noted that Nigeria has highly contested number of out of school children with data ranging from 13.2 million to 10.2 million at the primary level.
“Nigeria got 45%, of growing number of out of school children in West Africa, the number of out of school children is highly contested with data ranging from 13.2 million to 10.2 million Out of school children at the primary level.”
She noted that the issue however is likely to be much greater as government does not collect and report on the number of out of school children included at upper secondary school age level.
Maryam Ahmed, the Nigeria Youth Ambassador, Save the Children International recounted situations where young girls are forced into early marriage after Junior Secondary School Certificate Education.
She spoke about the importance of Universal Basic Education in rural areas.
“Despite the UBE interventions, some parent has not seen the need to support girl child education and so refuse to take their children to school.”
Olawale Rotimi, the Executive Director Youthhub Africa spoke on Reforming Basic education in Nigeria.
He opined that many countries in the continent are revising their legislation to expand the scope of free and compulsory education to include senior secondary education.
” In Malawi, their education act 2012 provides free and compulsory Education in primary school, and it covers up to the age of 17. Kenya’s basic education act 2013 redefines basic education and has provisions for the right to free and compulsory education from pre-primary up to senior secondary education which also covers continuous adult education.”
Based on Nigeria legislation act, he explained the need to redefine basic education to cover up to 12 years, and how more and better financing for education can decrease number of out of school children and as well expand educational resources.