The In-Country representative of the Malala Yousafzai Foundation, Crystal Musa, has called for the free compulsory education of the girl child in Nigeria for at least 12 years.
Musa stated this in Yola, Adamawa State, at the validation of a baseline study report on the community-led Action For Girl Education Project in Adamawa on Thursday.
The foundation, she said, was advocating for an upgrade of the country’s nine-year free compulsory education to 12 years, particularly for the girl child, so that the nation could be on par with standard practice in other countries of the world.
Musa added that the foundation was pursuing the three years extension with authorities at both the federal and state levels, as it insisted on the need for the government to end the regime of school fees payment.
The foundation was also funding a community-led Collective Action for Girls Education project to be implemented in Numan, Song and Maiha local government council areas by the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development.
At the project validation, the team lead, Monday Osasah said the programme was conceptualised to extend school enrolment for the girl child through the community approach. “This project, C- CAGE was conceptualised to address the root cause of barriers in girl child enrolment, retention and completion in Adamawa state, with focus on Numan, Song and Maiha local government areas.
“Global statistics reveal that 263 million children of school going age are out of school. The total includes 63 million children of primary school age ( 24 per cent), 61 million of lower secondary school age (23 per cent) and 139 million of upper secondary age (56 per cent).
Nigeria has 13.2 million out of school children – the world’s highest number, sixty per cent of those children are in Northern Nigeria,” Osasah said.
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