Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Realities in Nigeria

Improving Education for Girls in North

"In Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north a community-run project to create 'girl-friendly' primary schools is helping to correct long-time gender inequalities in education, analysts say.

"In the region's most populous state, Kano, boys continue to outnumber girls in school but education officials say the margin has narrowed over recent years...

"While official figures say primary school intake has more than doubled in Nigeria since the government introduced free primary education in 2001, the gender discrepancy remains in northern states.

Students in Kano, Nigeria

"Just over a quarter of girls in northern Nigeria make it beyond secondary school and more than half are married before age 15, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF)...

"US Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2004 set up a project to involve community members in improving education quality and boosting girls' enrolment - Community Participation for Action in the Social Sector (COMPASS)...

"In Zakarai, a low-income farming settlement with some 8,000 residents, of the 1,690 registered pupils at the only primary school in 2008, 860 were girls, reflecting a three-year upward trend; 776 girls were enrolled in 2006...

"One of the best ways to attract more girls is very simple, says the Kano basic education board's Abdullahi: toilets. In a conservative, predominantly Muslim community, unisex toilets have hindered girls' enrolment. Community leaders are beginning to provide separate facilities for girls..."

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