The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, says the COVID-19 pandemic may increase the number of drop-outs in Nigeria.
Tallen while flagging off the 2020 National Children’s Day celebration, themed: “Promoting Girl-Child Education for Sustainable Development’’, in Abuja expressed concern that the pandemic will likely affect girl-child education.
She explained the Coronavirus pandemic has exposed the girl-child to all forms of violence and sexual exploitation especially with the closure of schools.
“As we are all aware, Nigeria is already facing the struggle of enrolling the girl-child in school, the COVID-19 pandemic has a high tendency to set us back as the likelihood for increased school drop-out rates of those already enrolled.
“These issues will further widen the gender gaps in education and lead to increase in all forms of violence such as sexual, physical and emotional exploitation, early and forced marriages, child trafficking and child labour,” she said.
The minister, therefore, appealed to parents to make sure their children returned to school as soon as academic activities resume to bridge gender gaps in line with the SDGs 4.
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