Malala Fund calls for action as distance-learning measures fail girls in Nigeria

Malala Fund calls for action as distance-learning measures fail girls in Nigeria

- Malala Fund Education Champions - Nigeria advocates for girl's education access across six northern states

- A report on girls' education and COVID-19 in Nigeria has been launched with a call to action given to the authorities

- Foremost Non-Governmental Organisation, Connected Development is a part of Malala Fund's Education Champions network

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Malala Fund Education Champions in Nigeria on Friday, November 20 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.

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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 ration for study and 2% used mobiles.

Malala Fund calls for action as distance-learning measures fail girls in Nigeria
Malala Fund is an initiative of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist. Photo credit: @biography
Source: Twitter

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 private tutor during the pandemic.

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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.

The report calls on the Nigerian government to:

1. Provide gender-equitable and inclusive distance learning to support all students through current and future school closures;

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2. Ensuring safe and gender-responsive school reopenings as soon as possible;

3. Mitigate the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis to help families prioritise education;

4. 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.

Meanwhile, the federal government says it will begin limiting the entry point of teaching only to individuals with second class upper and first-class divisions.

This was disclosed by the permanent secretary, federal ministry of education, Sonny Echono on Saturday, November 14.

Echono said teachers without requisite qualifications, competencies, and practicing licenses are presently migrated out of the Nigerian Teaching Service.

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