From the 57 Chibok girls who escaped Boko Haram captivity in Nigeria shortly after their kidnapping in 2014, 42 of them graduated from secondary school last Tuesday (26 July).
The girls were sponsored to study at private schools by the Borno state government and the non-profit organisation Girl Child Concern, and graduated from the Bethel International Christian Academy (for Christian students) and the Ulul-Albab Science Secondary School (for Muslim students) in Katsina and Plateau states, reports AfricaNews.
The 42 graduates were among the first girls to escape during, or soon after, they were kidnapped from their secondary school in Chibok, in north-east Nigeria’s Borno state, while they were studying for their final exams in April 2014.
Since then, some of the other 219 girls have either escaped or been released (21 in October and the 81 in May), but 113 girls are still believed to be held by Boko Haram, as the government continues to negotiate for their release, according to AfricaNews.
Meanwhile, parents of the released girls have expressed their frustration over the government’s tight control over access to their daughters. Though the government says they are providing physical and emotional care and sponsoring schooling for the girls in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, their parents have seen their girls only a handful of times and, even then, under very close watch.
Earlier this week World Watch Monitor reported about another four of the escaped Chibok girls who will start university in the US next month.