Nigeria accounts for 45% of all out-of-school children in West Africa, with over 10 million out-of-school children.

Girls account for 60% of Nigeria’s 10 million out-of-school children, facing barriers such as child marriage, poverty and discriminatory social norms. In Nigeria, 30% of girls aged 9-12 have never been to school at all.

In northern Nigeria, low-quality education prevents girls from learning the skills they need to thrive. Families do not see value in sending girls to school if they are not learning, so they often choose to marry their daughters off instead of continuing their education. Additionally, long-held cultural beliefs fuel gender discrimination, which further limits girls’ ability to reach their full potential.

Our work in Nigeria

In Nigeria, Education Champions work across six Northern states where children face the biggest challenges accessing education and account for 70% of all out-of-school children. As a chapter, Nigerian Champions advocate for progressive amendments to education legislation, specifically for 12 years of safe, free, quality education under the Universal Basic Education Act (UBE Act).

In 2017, the Nigeria chapter successfully advocated to the 8th National Assembly Senate to pass the amendment to the UBE Act. Today, Nigeria Champions are collectively advocating to the 9th Assembly to see the UBE Act passed in both the House and Senate and sufficiently financed so the legislation can be implemented.

“Without education, we cannot achieve good health, a prosperous economy or safe communities. Investing in education — and girls’ education in particular — is key for every country in Africa.”

— Habiba Mohammed, Co-director, Centre for Girls’ Education

Today, Malala Fund supports 10 Education Champions in Nigeria.


An education activist describes the fight to end hidden fees in northeast Nigeria
Girls' education and COVID-19 in Nigeria
How Pamela Okoroigwe, a lawyer for LEDAP, works to ensure Nigeria’s laws protect education for girls

Where we Work

Malala Fund works in regions where the most girls miss out on secondary education.