5 July 2012

Nigeria: FG Launches Policy Framework On Girl Child, Women Education

In a bid to elevate the standards of girl child education, the Federal Government has launched the policy framework on Girls and Women Education.

Minister of State for Education, Barr Ezenwo Nyesom Wike who made the public presentation of the framework in Abuja, Tuesday, said the outline is a proposal for giving the girl child as well as women access to sound education.

The minister noted that investing in girls' and women education is one of the most effective ways to reducing poverty and advancing national development.

Wike pointed out that Nigeria has over the years strive to ensure that all children, irrespective of gender and socio-economic background have equal access to basic education with the implementation of the universal basic education.

He stated that since the launch of the basic education scheme in 2004, Nigeria has recorded appreciable increase in enrollment figures of both boys and girls.

The minister however regretted that certain factors such as cultural and traditional values have created noticeable barriers between girls and their prospects for basic education.

This he said has created gender imbalance in the education system which according to him is leading most of these girls and women into living deprived lives of missed opportunities and poverty.

According to the minister, "the existing gender gap in education which is especially pronounced in the Northern part of the country is unhealthy and inimical to women empowerment and the rapid socio-economic development of the country".

The ministry of education Wike said is combating the menace with some specific and targeted policies and programmes, such as the adoption of the national policy and implementation guidelines on gender basic education and the Girls Education Project (GEP) which is a collaborative effort of the ministry, DFID and UNICEF.

Wike disclosed that the ministry is so far satisfied with the noticeable increases in girls enrolment in basic education in the six Northern states where the GEP was piloted adding that the ministry has concluded plans with implementing partners to up-scale the GEP to ten additional states.

Experts who spoke at the presentation said the framework will help produce good quality education and make it available to all girls and women in the country.

They also appealed government at all levels to ensure that girls and women are given a quality education as well as ensure that they are adequately protected.

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