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UNICEF says eight million children out of school in 10 Nigerian states, FCT


• Sponsors 1,000 girls, trains 484 in Bauchi
• Monarch advocates free education for girls, stiffer sanction for randy teachers

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says eight million Nigerian children are out-of-school in 10 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as over 10.5 million are unable to access safe and quality education.

According to a statement by UNICEF’s Country Representative, Peter Hawkins, in commemoration of the Day of African Child, the crisis in the Northeast has destroyed schools, scared teachers and terrified parents to send their children to school, especially the girls, who have been targets of school kidnaps.

“Bauchi, Niger, Katsina, Kano, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Gombe, Adamawa and Taraba states, as well as the FCT, have about eight million children that are not in school and an average enrolment rate of only 57 per cent,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed has vowed to revive the education sector by declaring state of emergency on education and engaging the services of professional teachers.

When Bauchi Youth Advocacy Group visit him at the weekend, he assured them that the 1,000 youths who were trained by UNICEF on leadership skills would be employed to mobilise kids across the rural areas back to the classrooms.

UNICEF, through its Girls Education Projects, has trained 484 on leadership, life, knowledge and personal skills and growth.

It also said over 1,000 rural young women it sponsored had graduated from Aminu Saleh College of Education, Azare, awaiting employment.

UNICEF’s Chief of Field Office, Bauchi, Mr. Bhanu Pathak, at a youth mobilisation and advocacy workshop at the weekend, said “lots of achievements have so far been recorded under the Girls Education Project – teachers and head teachers have been trained on lesson plans, early grade reading and leadership skills; and 410 schools have received grants to implement school specific plans, also focusing on promoting girls access and learning.”

Pathak assured that UNICEF would continue to support Bauchi government to uplift the situation of girls, women and children.

However, the need for government at all levels to enact a law that offers female children free education has become a source of concern to the Galadima of Muri, Alhaji Tukur Abba Tukur

The monarch made the call yesterday in Jalingo, Taraba State, while playing host to the 100 youths Taraba SUBEB, in collaboration with UNICEF, engaged in a three-day sensitisation on safe quality education, visited his palace to seek his intervention in girls education.

He urged governments to enact stiffer punishment for teachers who indulge in sexual harassment.


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