Written by Godfrey AKON

Nigeria needs to enrol more girls in school- UNICEF







As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate the 2019 International Day of the Girl Child, the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, has called on the country to make effort towards enrolling more girls in school.


Speaking at the commemoration of the day in Abuja, Country Representative of UNICEF in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, urged the Nigerian Government to invest more on the education of the girl child.


"Nigeria really needs to make efforts to enrol more girls and keep them in school. If Nigeria fails to make it, Africa will not make and the global community will not make it. UNICEF is calling all stakeholders, including government agencies and parents to ensure quality engineer for girls and address all factors affecting them," he said.


Represented by Dr Aniefreda Kisesa of UNICEF, Hawkins said a huge number of Nigerian children, especially girls, were missing basic education. He spoke on the 2019 theme: "Girl Force: Unscripted and Unstoppable,” aimed at "celebrating achievements by, with and for girls since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and passage of the Convention on the Rights of the Child."


It is estimated that Nigeria has 13.5 million out-of-school children with a significant number of girls in that population.


UNICEF maintains that “all children, no matter where they live or what their circumstances, have the right to quality education.”


Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Dr Ramatu Tijani, who earlier spoke at the event, called on African parents to focus on educating and empowering the girl child.


Tijani called for change among parents on their beliefs about the life of a girl in the society, urging religious leaders not to focus only on helping girls spiritually but also by giving them education.


She said “educating a girl serves as an investment in the family and country at large. So many challenges are facing girls. Girls are subject of sexual abuse and are use as nannies and house helps by wealthy families, some societies see girls as liabilities and are excluded from inheritance by some societies."


The International Day of the Girl Child is celebrate on October 11, every year. The 2019 event in Nigeria was organised by UNICEF in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Education, Department for International Development, DFID, and other partners.


“It is a day set aside by the United Nations for promoting the rights of girls and addressing the unique challenges they face.


“It’s a day when diverse groups come together for the same goal: to highlight, discuss, and act to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere,” UNICEF explained.










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