FILE PHOTO: Girl-child education.

A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Girls Education Mission International (GEMI) has decried the low enrollment of girls in primary and secondary schools in northern Nigeria.

“Education opens windows of opportunities for girls to break the shackles of poverty. It is key to improving living standards; unfortunately, many girls in the north hardly get the opportunity to go to school,” Mrs Keturah Shammah, Executive Director of GEMI, said on Wednesday.

Shammah in Jos said that 60 percent of girls in the north were out of school.

“More than half of the girls of school age are not enrolled; concerted efforts must be made to change the tide otherwise their economic situation would only worsen,” she said.

She said that the NGO had awarded scholarships to 50 girls since inception in 2007, and expressed happiness that five beneficiaries had since graduated and were working.

The official said that the Jos-based NGO would mark the annual International Day of the Girl-Child in a rural community in Lere Local Government in Kaduna State, to sensitise and create awareness to stakeholders on the need to empower girls through education.

She said that this year’s theme for the international day of the girl child, “Empower Girls: Before, During and after Conflict”, was a challenge to the world to stop discriminating against girls.

“Girls must be enrolled into schools; it is the only way to prepare them to build a better society,” she said.

Shammah said that the NGO would hold a town hall meeting with key stakeholders on ways to promote enrollment of girls in schools.