Breaking the Cycle: The Impact of Female Out-of-School Children in Nigeria

Reference & EducationEducation

  • Author Okpo Zion Oshiobugie
  • Published February 22, 2023
  • Word count 590

According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children worldwide, with over 10.5 million children not attending school. Of this number, a disproportionate number are girls. The increasing rate of female out-of-school children in Nigeria is a cause for concern, as it not only hinders the development of the individual girl child but also hurts society.

Poverty is one of the main reasons for the high number of out-of-school girls in Nigeria. According to the World Bank, 70% of Nigeria's population lives below the poverty line, and many families cannot afford to send their daughters to school. In addition, cultural and traditional practices, such as early marriage and the preference for boys' education, contribute to the high number of out-of-school girls in Nigeria.

The lack of education for girls in Nigeria not only hinders individual girls' development but also perpetuates the cycle of poverty and hinders the country's development as a whole. According to the National Population Commission of Nigeria, girls with little or no education are more likely to marry early and have larger families, increasing the burden on already stretched resources.

Furthermore, the lack of education for girls also hurts the economy. According to the World Economic Forum, educating girls can increase a country's GDP by up to 34%. Education for girls in Nigeria is needed to ensure a sufficient number of skilled and educated women in the workforce, which hinders the country's economic development.

To address the issue of the increasing rate of female out-of-school children in Nigeria, it is essential to increase investment in girls' education and address the root causes of poverty and discrimination that prevent girls from attending school.

One solution is to provide financial assistance to families living in poverty to help them afford the cost of education for their daughters. This can be done through scholarships, bursaries, or other financial aid forms.

Another solution is to implement targeted programs and initiatives that support girls in slum areas and communities living in poverty—for example, providing after-school programs and mentoring for girls to help them overcome the barriers they face and stay in school.

Additionally, working with community leaders and traditional authorities to change cultural and traditional practices that discriminate against girls is an essential step in addressing the issue. These leaders can be educated on the importance of girls' education and encouraged to advocate for it in their communities.

In addition to that, providing girls with access to resources such as sanitary products and providing education on sexual and reproductive health can help to reduce absenteeism and dropout rates among girls. This is especially important as a lack of access to these resources can be a significant barrier to girls' education.

Finally, providing girls with vocational education and training can help address the out-of-school issue. This can help give the girls the skills they need to find employment and support themselves and their families, even if they cannot complete their formal education.

Overall, addressing the issue of female out-of-school children in Nigeria will require a multi-faceted approach involving investment in education, targeted programs and initiatives, and a change in cultural and traditional practices.

In conclusion, the increasing rate of female out-of-school children in Nigeria is a cause for concern, as it not only hinders the development of the individual girl child but also hurts society. To address this issue of females that are out of school, there is a need for increased investment in girls' education and a change in cultural and traditional practices that discriminate against girls.

I am an executive nonprofit leadership coach with over six years of practical experience working with children, fundraising, working in slum and remote communities and building free schools for orphans. I've been a facilitator in leadership courses and an executive coach for over five years.

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