Insurgency: A Setback For Girl-Child Education

 

 

Habiba Ladan 

 

Girls education depends largely on encouragement from families, provision of school instructional materials and safety of girls to school.

 

Unfortunately, insurgency has become a threat to many families and girls in northern part of Nigeria. There are frequent cases of abduction of girls of school age in the region.

 

A recent study conducted by UNICEF stated that Nigeria still has 10.5 million out-of-school children—the world’s highest number. 60% of those children are in northern Nigeria. About 60% of out-of-school children are girls.

 

Also, Boko Haram has killed an estimated 2,295 teachers, and over 19,000 teachers have been displaced by the conflict. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that more than 1,400 schools have been destroyed, damaged, or looted primarily in the northeast, and more than 600,000 children have lost access to education.

 

Since the emergence of Boko Haram in 2009, and with the abduction of Chibok girls from secondary school in Borno, it has threatened the enrollment of female child in school. These has to do with the fact that parents were afraid their children might face the same fate as Chibok girls. The female students were also afraid of being kidnapped which prompted them to stay away from school in the mostly affected states of the region.

 

Some of the abducted Chibok girls reported that they were forced into marriage with fighters and all forms of sexual abuse happened to them. Some reported to have been constantly raped which lead to unwanted pregnancies.

 

The abduction of Jangebe girls is also seen as an attack not only on girl-child education but education as a whole. Parents are more determined to keep their children at home because of abduction of school children being carried out by bandits.

 

As a result of abduction of school children, many boarding schools in Kano, Zamfara Niger and Yobe have been shut down by the government. This has further trampled upon the educational system of the northern region. Teachers no longer feel safe on school ground as school has now become a target for bandits to abduct school children.

 

The federal government should show higher commitment towards mobilizing the armed forces to the North and provide security in all schools. They should ensure that all security personnel posted to guard all schools are well motivated.

 

Nigerian government should provide free and compulsory education for all girls in the north up to university level.

 

Government should also provide scholarships for children who lost interest in education as a result of abduction by bandits.

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