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Implement safe school declaration to protect us – Coalition begs Buhari

By Matthew Ogune, Abuja
17 October 2021   |   3:46 am
A coalition of girls leaders assembled by Malala Fund has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intensify efforts in the implementation of the safe school declaration,...

Buhari

A coalition of girls leaders assembled by Malala Fund has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intensify efforts in the implementation of the safe school declaration, as ratified in 2019, to check kidnapping and rape among other vices in schools.

Ugbede Agamah, a student of Oprite Christian International School, Kurudu in Abuja, made this demand on behalf of Malala Fund, yesterday in Abuja at an event to mark the International Day of the girl child.

Agamah, who explained that educating a girl child prepares her to face the reality of her society and empowers her to contribute positively to the nation, regretted that the country currently has no
constitutional guarantee for citizens to access safe, free and compulsory basic education up to senior secondary level.

According to her, evidence from past crises shows that girls are particularly vulnerable in the face of prolonged school closures, noting that at the start of 2020, 935 schools in the Northeast were closed, due to attacks and conflicts, and that many more schools are now closed across Northern Nigeria.

Disclosing that girls account for 10.2 million out-of-school children in the country, she called on the President to engage all relevant personnel to effectively manage times of conflict in a way that enables schools remain unaffected.

Also, Malala Fund country representative, Crystal Ikanih-Musa, said millions of girls have no access to safe and quality education, due to school closures occasioned by insecurity.

Ikanih-Musa said girls are almost two and a half times more likely to be out of primary school, if they live in conflict-affected areas and nearly 90 per cent more likely to be out of secondary school than their male counterparts in areas not affected by conflict.