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Girls' education and COVID-19 in Nigeria

Malala Fund

Courtesy of Malin Fezehai

Malala Fund

Malala Fund is working for a world where every girl can learn and lead.

COVID-19 is creating a girls’ education crisis in Nigeria. Girls and young women are the first to be removed from school, the least likely to learn from home and the last to return to the classroom.

Before the pandemic, the education system in Nigeria was already strained and characterised by stark gender inequalities.Now fears of COVID-19 and the economic consequences of the pandemic threaten to prevent even more girls from returning to the classroom. If leaders don’t act now, we risk losing another generation of girls.

In Girls’ education and COVID-19 in Nigeria, Malala Fund and our Education Champions highlight the impact of school closures on girls in Kaduna state. The report details the greater domestic burdens placed on girls compared to boys during the pandemic, the lack of academic support girls receive from their families and how government distance learning initiatives have failed to reach girls.

Malala Fund’s Education Champions in Nigeria work across six Northern states where girls face the biggest challenges accessing education. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, they have been fighting to break down the barriers to distance learning outlined in this report and protect progress for girls’ education.

As schools begin to reopen, Malala Fund and our Education Champions are now focused on ensuring that girls are safely able to return to the classroom. In this report, Malala Fund and our Education Champions lay out a roadmap for how government officials at the state and federal levels can provide gender-equitable distance learning during current and future school closures and ensure the safe, gender-responsive reopening of schools. Based on our field research and an extensive review of policy and relevant literature, Girls’ education and COVID-19 in Nigeria outlines steps to improve Nigeria’s education system, strengthening it against future shocks and making it easier for girls to go to school.

Girls are paying the highest price of the pandemic. By taking immediate action and following these recommendations, leaders can mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and ensure that every girl in Nigeria is able to learn during and after this crisis.

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