Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai has called on Nigeria to focus on improving its education system, as she visited the country and met some of the Chibok schoolgirls whose cause she championed.
Yousafzai, 20, a Pakistani education activist who came to prominence when a Taliban militant shot her in the head in 2012, was named a UN Messenger of Peace in April to promote girls’ education around the world.
After a meeting with Nigeria’s acting president in Abuja, Yousafzai said the government should declare a “state of emergency on education in Nigeria,” where nearly half of primary-aged children are not enrolled in school.
According to UN figures, Nigeria has some 10.5 million children out of school -- the most in the world -- and 60 percent of them are girls.
Yousafzai has also taken part in global campaigns to maintain awareness of more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram Islamist militants from their school in Nigeria’s remote town of Chibok in 2014.
Some 100 of the schoolgirls still remain in captivity, while others were freed or escaped. Yousafzai met some of the freed girls in Abuja, Nigeria's capital.
Malala won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize along with Kailash Satyarthi of India.