The United Nations Children’s Fund Representative to Nigeria, Ms. Jean Gough, says the organisation will collaborate with State Governments in the North to bring one million girls back to school in seven years.
She listed states that would benefit from the seven-year girl-child education initiative as Sokoto, Zamfara, Niger, Kastina and Bauchi.
“We have observed a widening gap between the education of boys in the South and girls in the North.
“Therefore, in 2014, we are to ensure that in the next seven years, one million girls in the northern part of Nigeria come back to school.
“We will be working through the various education systems of our partners to ensure that all girls in these states return to school,” she said.
Jean said that the project was aimed at ensuring that boys and girls had equal access to education.
According to her, the organisation plans to create new offices in Borno, Kastina and Sokoto states to facilitate the execution of the programme.
The UNICEF representative expressed optimism that the offices would help in reaching out to school girls in their communities.
“We really need to bridge the education gap between boys in the South and girls in the North.
“This should be a big challenge to us all.
“We all need to be involved in changing the stereotypes, and make sure that these girls are back to school,” she said.
Jean said that the organisation would be working with the different community leaders and families to achieve the project.
She commended the Federal Government, British Department for International Development and the benefiting State Governments for their support and commitment to the project.