Minister to school administrators: Don’t expel rape-impregnated girls

Dame Tallen

The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen has charged school administrators across the country to stop shaming, ridiculing or expelling girl-child from school for being pregnant out of rape, saying this will no longer be acceptable.

Tallen  gave the charge  at the press briefing which held weekend in Abuja, to mark the International Day of the Girl-Child, stressing that education is a fundamental right of every child, boy or girl as articulated in the National Policy on Education.

She also emphasised that progress in girls enrolment, retention and completion of schooling will have to be twice as rapid as it is now, if Nigeria is to realize the Agenda 2030 for inclusive and equitable quality education.

She said, “All school administrators of both public and private schools have to desist from the old practice of shaming, ridiculing or expelling a girl-child from school, because she was raped and subsequently became pregnant. 

“It is no longer acceptable. The girl is always a victim, while the male culprit is left off the hook.  But fair is fair.” 

She further remarked that for the girl-child in Nigeria not to be left behind in the digital revolution even with the continued scourge of COVID-19 pandemic, there is the need for a change in scientific orientation, which must be able to continually adapt to changes in knowledge, technology and addressing societal challenges.

The minister noted steps to promote the development of the girl-child, saying the ministry had launched a campaign and call to action to support girl child education.

“ICT programme for the girl child was put in place; we campaigned against the drop out of pregnant young girls from schools; we also established a menstrual pad bank as well as proposed the setting up of Girl Child Parliament,” she said.

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