Abuja – The Federal Government on Friday said the recently freed 106 Chibok girls were not living in solitary confinement.
The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Aisha Alhassan, said this while briefing newsmen on the update on the recovery of the released girls in Abuja.
Alhassan said that the girls were ready to be integrated back to the society ahead of the school academic session commencing in September.
She said the girls had to be properly observed by medical experts, adding that so far there are no traits of abnormalities in them.
“Like every other young Nigerian girl, the need to make up for educational loss suffered on account of their prolonged isolation while in captivity had been of paramount concern to this government.
“To date, education and livelihood opportunities of the Chibok girls since their return have been enhanced through remedial and tutorial engagement as well as vocational skills training.
“This would not only make them academically sound but also independent,” the minister said.
She also announced plans to kit them as they resume formal education in order to place the girls on a path to a lifetime of successful and productive living.
“To aid their recovery, recreational activities and reunion with family have been the key tools used to support the girls.
“They have had interface with their communities and spent Christmas holiday in Chibok. This was gratifying experience for both the girls and the families,” Alhassan said.
The minister said rather than suffer any form of stigma the girls had become survivors and heroes in their own right.
She said the government was in partnership with the American University of Nigeria (AUN) and other development partners, along with some private companies and Victims Support Fund to restore their dignity.
The minister said the partnership would be supporting the girls for their foundation course in September.
Alhassan said the choice of AUN was inspired by the resounding success recorded by the institution’s new foundation school initiative in grooming the 24 girls who initially escaped from captivity.
She said the case of the 24 Chibok girls had challenged the commitment and strategy of government with regards to the education of the 106 girls.
“It is time for them to get and enjoy the best. I am delighted that all the 106 girls will be resuming school at AUN foundation school in September,” Alhassan said.
However, the minister appealed to the public and media to avoid requests for the girls to recount theirs stories and experiences in order not to reopen wounds and trigger a relapse in their journey of recovery. (NAN)