Chi­bok girls to re­ceive uni­ver­sity ed­u­ca­tion

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD - TOYE OLORI

LA­GOS: The Nige­rian govern­ment says 106 Chi­bok school­girls re­leased by Boko Haram in­sur­gents are to set to re­sume their ed­u­ca­tion.

Twenty-one Chi­bok girls were re­leased in Oc­to­ber and a fur­ther 82 were set free re­cently af­ter govern­ment of­fi­cials and the in­sur­gents ne­go­ti­ated a swop.

Women Af­fairs and So­cial Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Jum­mai Al­has­san told some of the girls and their par­ents in Abuja on Satur­day that the girls would be en­rolled in schools af­ter their re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and rein­te­gra­tion pro­grammes were com­pleted by Septem­ber.

She said the govern­ment was talk­ing to the Amer­i­can Uni­ver­sity of Nige­ria in Yola, Adamawa State, about ad­mit­ting the 106 girls into its foun­da­tion pro­gramme.

“The Amer­i­can Uni­ver­sity is sup­port­ing the govern­ment in re­spect of the 21 girls re­leased ear­lier, but we don’t want to give the girls dif­fer­ent stan­dards of ed­u­ca­tion.

“The girls are al­ready here to­gether, all of them will go to the Amer­i­can uni­ver­sity,” Al­has­san said.

The vice-pres­i­dent in charge of ad­min­is­tra­tion at the uni­ver­sity, Regi­nald Briggs, said two of the 24 girls were in year two study­ing com­puter sci­ence and jour­nal­ism; two oth­ers had been ad­mit­ted to study ac­count­ing; three were un­der­tak­ing pre-med­i­cal de­gree pro­grammes; and another would study law.

Mean­while, the freed girls have ap­pealed to the Nige­rian govern­ment to try to free the re­main­ing girls who are still be­ing held hostage by Boko Haram in­sur­gents in the Sam­bisa for­est.

The leader of the re­leased school girls, Hauwa Ntakai, said: “We have many of our sis­ters there that are not stu­dents at any school and no­body talks about them.

“It is be­cause we were ab­ducted from a school that the govern­ment talked to Boko Haram and they re­leased us.”

Al­has­san said the govern­ment was try­ing to free the re­main­ing girls and had ap­pealed to Boko Haram lead­ers to em­brace di­a­logue on re­leas­ing hostages and stop­ping their in­sur­gency in the north-east.

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