Malala Fund Education Champions in Nigeria has launched a report on the impact of education on girl-child education in Nigeria.
The report titled, ‘Girls’ Education and COVID-19 in Nigeria’ revealed 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.
It was reported that girls surveyed in Kaduna state experienced less access to learning resources, increased domestic burdens and a lack of academic support from their families.
The provided documents stated 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.
“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,” this was stated in the data gotten from the documents.
“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 foundation urges the government to provide gender-equitable and inclusive distance learning to support all students through current and future school closures.
“If leaders don’t act now, we risk losing another generation of girls,” says Crystal Ikanih-Musa, In-country representative at Malala Fund.