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Stakeholders in education sector condemns attack on schools

Bukola Afeni

The minister of education ,Mallam Adamu Adamu said over 2,295 teachers have been killed ,19,000 displaced in Borno,Yobe,and Adamawa states over the past nine years ,while an estimated 1,500 schools ,have been destroyed since 2014,with over 1,280 casualties among teachers and students .
The minister of education gave this indication at the inception workshop on the review of the legal framework on the protection of education from attack in Nigeria.
The minister of education ,who was represented by the permanent secretary of the ministry of education ,Architect Sonny Echono ,noted that the attacks on schools is not only a humanitarian and development issue ,but also a social ,political ,and moral issue to which the government must obliged to at all times .
In the same vein,the minister said that the conflict in the North east is a unique situation ,where the systematic destruction and targeting of education has been both a key objective and tragic outcomes of hostilities .
“Without access to quality learning ,children are not only being deprived of education ,they are also being robbed of future opportunities,which affects the whole nation”
“Adolescent boys and girls are also at higher risk of joining armed groups ,or criminal gangs ,and also susceptible to trafficking and sexual violence ”
The minister of education also emphasized on the need to improve on the collation of data particularly ,in differentiating between the number of schools that is being used for military purposes and those that are attacked ,looted ,or used as shelters by internally displaced persons .
“We need to network with child protection actors ,and all stakeholders in the education sector so as to mitigate the negative consequences when such attack occurs ”
“The Safe schools declaration and guidelines should provide the framework for a collective effort to achieve real change in the lives of children and young people affected by Conflict situation”the minister asserted .


The country representative of UNICEF,Mr Mohammed Fall disclosed that the kidnap of the Chibok girls over four years ago ,is an indication that the education system is under attack in the North east .
“The girls are still missing up till now ,over more than hundred of this girls ,are still missing .Recently ‘some girls were kidnapped in Dapchi,and the incidence raised a number of concerns on the issue of safety in Nigerian schools ,especially in the North east ”
“Since 2009 ,lot of schools have been attacked ,2,200 teachers have been killed and displaced during the insurgent attack ”
According to him ,the aim at UNICEF is to ensure that the education of children is conducted under a safe and secure environment ,especially the girl child .
“We want to commend the government of Nigeria in making the school environment conducive by endorsing the Education in Emergencies Working group Nigeria ,which was established in 2012,and the declaration of the Safe school project in Nigeria .
“The objective of the EIEWGN is to provide a coordination forum in support of the Nigerian education system in emergencies .To plan,and implement an emergency response strategy and integrate children’s continuous access to quality education The legal framework on the protection of education from attack in Nigeria ,will ensure the implementation and working of this project in the North east ,especially for girls and the generations to come in this country .


The country director of Save the children Nigeria,Mr Benjamin Foot noted that stakeholders in the education sector should strategize on how to equip the students with requisite knowledge on how to equip themselves during attack in schools .
“The student should be properly taught on taking security measures ,and also have clarity on the issue at hand ,so they will be fully informed during emergency situations ”
Speaking further he charged the school administrators ,to look for strategic approach to curbing the issue of school attacks .
“We should seek for different approach of tackling the various challenges bedeviling the education sector in the Country ”
The representative of Federal government college ,Buni Yadi ,Yobe state gave a vivid illustration of how 29 students of the school were attacked and killed, and also called on the federal government to ensure that the perpetrators of the attacks were brought to justice .
He stressed on the need to improve on school surveillance and strengthen the security of schools across the different parts of the country .
The safe school declaration is an inter governmental political commitment that provides countries the opportunities to express support for protecting students ,teachers ,schools ,and universities from attacks during times of Armed conflicts .


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