Malala meets Chi­bok ‘he­roes’ in Nige­ria

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

No­bel peace lau­re­ate Malala Yousafzai late on Mon­day called for a ‘ state of emer­gency for ed­u­ca­tion’ in Nige­ria, as she vis­ited the coun­try and met some of the Chi­bok school­girls whose cause she cham­pi­oned.

The 20 year old global ed­u­ca­tion cam­paigner made the sug­ges­tion at a meet­ing with Act­ing Pres­i­dent Yemi Os­in­bajo at the pres­i­den­tial villa in Abuja.

Nige­ria has some 10.5mn chil­dren out of school - the most in the world - and 60 per cent of them are girls, ac­cord­ing to the UN chil­dren’s fund, Unicef.

Many of them are in the coun­try’s north­east, where the Boko Haram in­sur­gency has dev­as­tated ed­u­ca­tion in the last nine years, dam­ag­ing or de­stroy­ing class­rooms and schools.

Yousafzai, who was shot and nearly killed by the Tal­iban in her na­tive Pak­istan in 2012 for in­sist­ing girls should go to school, told re­porters: “I high­lighted a few is­sues.“

“The first was to ask the gov­ern­ment to de­clare a state of emer­gency for ed­u­ca­tion be­cause the ed­u­ca­tion of the Nige­rian girls and boys is re­ally im­por­tant.

“The fed­eral gov­ern­ment, state gov­ern­ment and lo­cal gov­ern­ment should all be united for this. Se­condly, the spend­ing should be made pub­lic and thirdly, the Child Rights Act should be im­ple­mented in all states.”

Yousafzai said there was a ‘pos­i­tive re­sponse’ to the sug­ges­tion from Os­in­bajo, who has been stand­ing in for Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari since he left on open-ended med­i­cal leave in early May.


Pak­istani ac­tivist Malala Yousafzai (left) with Nige­ria’s act­ing pres­i­dent Yemi Os­in­bajo, in Abuja on Mon­day

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