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|Nigeria May Lose Another Generation Of Girls - Malala Fund by tolajay: 11:04pm On Nov 21|
Malala Fund Education Champions Network in Nigeria has launched a report, Girls’ Education and COVID-19 in Nigeria, revealing new data that girls in Nigeria faced distinct gendered impacts during the pandemic, with over 50% of girls receiving no help to continue education during school closures.
The report — which analyses survey data collected from 2,253 respondents in Kaduna state — documents a widening gap for girls’ learning access during the COVID-19 lockdown. Girls surveyed in Kaduna state experienced less access to learning resources, increased domestic burdens and a lack of academic support from their families.
The report states that the government's distance learning programme did not reach all students: just 10% of girls and 24% of boys accessed distance learning offered via television, and only 18% of children used radio for study and 2% used mobiles. The data provides a sample data set emblematic of educational disparities across Nigeria during the lockdown.
The data also shows that while mothers supported boys and girls almost equally, fathers were 36% more likely to assist their sons’ learning than their daughters’. In general, boys were more than twice as likely to have access to a private tutor during the pandemic.
“Before the pandemic, an estimated 13.2 million children were out of school. School closures have forced an additional 36 million enrolled students out of school. COVID-19 pandemic is exasperating the girls’ education crisis in Nigeria. If leaders don’t act now, we risk losing another generation of girls,” says Crystal Ikanih-Musa, In-country representative at Malala Fund.
Additionally, the report reveals how the economic impact of COVID-19 is affecting families and therefore girls’ education, with over 80% of adults facing financial difficulties.
“I have spoken to many families in different communities during the lockdown. My interactions reveal that financial constraints will be a major factor in the decision to re-enrol girls in school due to dwindling income,” says Benjamin John, Malala Fund Education Champion and Programs Manager at Restoration of Hope Initiative.
Furthermore, the report documents insufficient government guidance on how to ensure that girls in lower socio-economic and conflict-affected states will re-enrol in school when the pandemic is over.
With schools reopened across Nigeria, the report calls on state and federal government officials to ensure safe, gender-responsive reopening plans across the country.
The report calls on the Nigerian government to:
● Provide gender-equitable and inclusive distance learning to support all students through current and future school closures;
● Ensuring safe and gender-responsive school reopenings as soon as possible;
● Mitigate economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis to help families prioritise education;
● Protect progress for girls’ education and rebuild the education system with gender at the centre to promote inclusive growth and ensure every girl can learn.
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