The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has said that there are over 18.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria.
The agency’s Chief of Field Office in Kano, Rahama Farah, said that more than 10 million of the total number, accounting for 60% were girls.
According to Farah who spoke during a media dialogue on girls’ education under the Girls’ Education Project 3 (GEP3) funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK and implemented by UNICEF, in the country, only one in every four girls from poor, rural families completes junior secondary school.
He further said that attacks on schools and other educational institutions in the country were harming children’s access to education across the country, noting that girls were more likely to be affected than boys.
He, however, said with the interventions of UNICEF, government and other development partners, 1.4 million girls now have access to education in northern Nigeria.
According to him majority of these out-of-school children are actually from northern Nigeria.
He admonished journalists to advocate for increased funding, timely release and allocation of adequate resources to the education sector for effective and efficient learning.
“The media must also be at the forefront of advocating for the action directed at removing these barriers that hinder girls’ education such as child marriage,” Farah added.