A recently rescued Nigerian Chibok girl with her child at a local Nigerian government council house in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Jossy Ola)
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When a colleague asked Margee Ensign to help her sister who had been snatched by Boko Haram from her school dormitory in Chibok and escaped, the president of the American University of Nigeria could not refuse. Ensign decided to offer scholarships to girls who managed to flee the Islamist militant group after it abducted more than 270 of their classmates in April 2014, its most high-profile assault in a seven-year insurgency to create an Islamic caliphate. Of the 57 girls who escaped after the nighttime raid in northeastern Nigeria, 24 accepted the university's offer.Many of the Chibok girls could not read or write fluently when they arrived at the university, its staff said."It was like they had special needs," Ensign said.To accommodate their varying academic abilities, the university devised a special program for the girls – rather than just sending them to its affiliated secondary school – and split them into beginner, intermediate and advanced classes.Called the "New Foundation School," the girls are tested frequently in the hope of getting them ready to move up to the university.
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