UNICEF plans to curb child marriage

UNICEFSTRATEGIES to invest on girls’ education and to as well discourage girls from getting married before they attained age fifteen have been mapped out by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The organisation, which also expressed dismay at the increase in Nigerian children presently out of schools with females forming the highest percentage, believed the mapped plans would go a long way to halt the scourge.

The UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Jean Gough, stated this in a press statement made available to journalists while marking the Africa Child Day.

Gough, who stressed the need to halt early marriage among the girls, said UNICEF believes that investment in girls’ education and getting more girls into schools will delay early marriage.

According to him: “Girls’ education is vital because educated girls become better mothers, have fewer and healthier children and are more empowered.

“An educated girl will have a better life. Every additional year of schooling delays age at marriage.”

He said the mapped out plans include training of female teachers, provision of cash to assist schoolgirls in purchasing textbooks, school uniforms, among others.

The Girls’ Education Project, which he said is funded by the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department of International Development (DFID) and implemented by UNICEF, is aimed at getting no fewer than one million more girls into schools by 2020.

He said the project would as well train female teachers through the female teachers’ service scheme and deploy them to rural areas where the predominance of male teachers deters many parents from sending their girls to schools.

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