Worried by the increasing number of out-of-school children in the country, stakeholders have called on policy makers to look into financial bottlenecks limiting girls from accessing quality education in Nigeria.
They identified adequate funding as a veritable factor for creating inclusive education and empowering learning environments for girls.
They made the call in Abuja at a Documentary Streaming Event titled, Empowering Girls through Education in Nigeria, put together by YouthHubAfrica with support from Malala Fund and EVA.
The organizers noted that there was a deliberate effort to figure out modalities on how decision-makers can prioritize girls’ education through a gender-transformative education system.
Recognizing the crucial role of sufficient funding, the organizers said the documentary sought to urge decision-makers to give priority to increased budgetary resources towards primary and secondary education in Nigeria.
Speaking, Malala Fund Advocacy Manager, Femi Aderobigbe, who decried a reversal in terms of the gains made in education over the years, regretted that the country lost a lot of school children during the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the ones it lost to insecurity in the North.
According to Aderobigbe, many of the school students have not been able to return to school due to the fact the security has not been fixed.
“Nigerians have seen a reverse to education against some gains. We also lost security because of the internal displacement of persons in some parts of the country.
“I am linking my discussion to the subsidy removal which will affect the girl child in Nigeria and increase the number of out-of-school children. Nigeria can do more in developing a stable mechanism to develop girl child education.
Also speaking, the Executive Director, of Invictus Africa, Bukky Shonibare, who explained that the documentary was championed by the young girls in the country, disclosed that poverty was a factor that was highlighted by the girls, lamenting that it has truncated most girls from going to school.
According to Shonibare, the girls also highlighted the lack of infrastructure like toilets, which she said, also put the girl child away from the school during the mensuration period.
“The documentary by the girls in their school revealed the unavailability of toilets and adequate running water resulting in some girls skipping classes, some girls do not go to school during menstruation because they do not have toilets and running water.
“Subsidy is also a major factor that is affecting the girl child education because of the increase rate in fuel price, primarily most students in Abuja go to school using public transportation. Removal of fuel subsidy must improve the standard of living by the family of the girl child in particular.”