Mr. Edward Kallon, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, has condemned the ongoing attacks on schools and kidnappings that have impacted thousands of children across the country.
Nigeria, he believes, cannot afford to ignore the ongoing attacks on schools.
In a statement celebrating the 2021 International Day to Protect Education from Attack on Thursday, Kallon said that in the previous academic year, 1.3 million children in Nigeria were affected by attacks or abductions at schools.
He described it as a direct attack on the next generation, saying it is stressful for the youngsters, diminishes their individual dignity, and sometimes causes impacted families to pull their children out of school completely.
In his statement : ‘UN condemns attack on schools, demands for additional steps to protect students and provide uninterrupted teaching and learning.’
Kallon also encouraged the Federal Government to examine its progress in implementing the UN declaration on safe schools and to fully implement commitments made in 2019 by taking decisive steps to protect education and give this wonderful nation’s youngsters the chance to achieve their dreams.
“I strongly condemn every sort of attack that has hindered many youngsters from attending school,” he said. I urge the federal and state governments to do more to protect schools from attacks and to ensure that teaching and learning in all Nigerian schools is safe and conducive.”
“Whenever teaching and learning are disturbed, the impact on human capital development is enormous,” the Resident Coordinator noted, “because the recovery phase is always torturous and longer than the length of the initial disruption.”
“Children have been traumatized; parents have been terrified; teachers and school administrators have been terrified; and school attacks are increasingly extending to locations where insurgencies are unknown. Nigeria’s collective future is jeopardized because of attacks on education. This must come to an end right now!”
The UN stated that the right to education is frequently violated, particularly in conflict-affected areas where entire populations may be denied access to education.
He said : “With over 10 million children already out of school, violence has exacerbated the situation and had a significant impact on education and the future of many young people, particularly the most vulnerable.”
In Nigeria, it is believed that 1.3 million children were affected by school attacks or abductions during the previous academic year.
In the north-east alone, over 600,000 youngsters are out of school, with 1.1 million requiring educational assistance to remain in school. All of this has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic’s setbacks.
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