Elimination of the gender gap in education
The problem of how to get girls to go to school has long been a concern of the government in Nigeria. UNICEF said in 2004 that:
The gender gap favoring boys has remained consistently wide in Nigeria over the last ten years. In the Northern part of the country, the number of children out of school is particularly high and the proportion of girls to boys in school ranges from 1 girl to 2 boys and even 1 to 3 in two states. In 2003, UNICEF launched the 25 by 2005 global initiative, in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goal for the elimination of gender disparity in education in 25 countries by 2005. In response, Nigeria adopted the Strategy for Accelerating Girls Education in Nigeria the same year.
The Girls Education Project ,under the auspices of UNGEI , is one of the world’s largest girl’s education projects. It was begun in 2004:
The £26million project, entirely financed by DFID Nigeria, will be implemented by UNICEF and Nigeria partners over the next three years. The project’s goal is to achieve significant progress in Nigeria towards MDG 3: to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005 and to all levels of education no later than 2015.
The direct beneficiaries will be more than 360,000 pupils in 720 schools in 2005. Many more will benefit indirectly and the project will be scaled up over the following two years to include 15 different states in the country.