Necessitated by the growing out-of-school children in the North, particularly the girl child over security related issues, a non-governmental organisation, The Juli Education Foundation, T-JEF has set out to grant access to education for 1,000 girls in the region.

The group decried that parents are massively withdrawing their children from school due to the increasing incidents of abduction and kidnapping majorly targetted at the girl child.

In a release on Tuesday signed by the founder T-JEF, Ogiator Joy, she said the foundation has introduced Project Girl Child 2022 as a pilot scheme to bridge the widening educational gap being created by the escalating security concerns in the North.

Ogiator expressed dissatisfaction that the increasing rate of out-of-school girls has equally led to a burgeoning figure of early marriages which she said has grave health implications on the girl child.

Ogiator while further noting that the situation in Afghanistan where the Taliban has seized government is a worrisome one with little or no chances of the girl child acquiring education since it is forbidden under the Taliban doctrine, she explained that the situation in Sub-Sahara Africa, particularly in Nigeria is not different as the chances of the girl child to attend formal education grows slimmer by the day because of security challenges.

This she said is pitiful as several advocacy campaigns channelled towards increasing the girl child enrollment in school over the years has amounted to wasted effort, adding that the implications are devastating to the development of girl child.

She said, "Statistics shows that of the 10.5 million out of school children in Nigeria, more than half are girls - the highest in the world. Further research carried out noted that most girls in Northern Nigeria who were enrolled in school at an early age like their counterparts in other parts of the world are likely to drop out before they complete their primary education. Vices such as poverty, gender inequality, religion and traditional influences, early marriage, parent illiteracy and social exclusion have continued to plague the process of educating the girl child.

"Although there have been tremendous progress in the fight to ensure more girls are enrolled in schools, the effects have been slow especially with the continuous stereotypes and gender norms that define the female gender in the region. The nature of girl child education as we have it could also be traced to the exclusion of women from decision making processes and community involvements, which therefore means that a lot of women have no control over many areas of their lives even at adulthood."

Ogiator therefore called for equal representation in every strata of decision making processes as a deliberate effort to bridge the gap between male and female attendants at school. 

According to her, when there are more women in positions of power who are able to influence decisions that affect girls, the outcomes will be different and better. 

"Furthermore, if girl child education is to be achieved, safe spaces and security needs to be provided for girls. Last year, my organization, the Juli Education Foundation (JEF) spoke to many parents to enquire why their girls were prevented from going to school. 

"More than half of them cited distance of the school from the village, which further ensured that these girls were exposed to dangers on the way to and from school, why some further disclosed to us that male teachers were fond of molesting these girls" she added.



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