11,536 schools closed in Nigeria over insecurity – UNICEF expresses worry

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11,536 schools closed in Nigeria over insecurity – UNICEF expresses worry
11,536 schools closed in Nigeria over insecurity – UNICEF expresses worry

Africa-Press – Nigeria. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Thursday, said 11,536 schools have remained closed since December 2020 as a result of abductions and insecurity related issues.

A statement signed by UNICEF Communication Specialist, Mr Samuel Kaalu, said the closure has impacted the education of approximately 1.3 million children in the 2020/21 academic year.

He said the interruption of learning contributed to gaps in children’s knowledge and skills, which it feared may lead to the loss of approximately $3.4 billion in the children’s lifetime earnings.

This also, he said further perpetuates cycles of poverty and inequality.

He said UNICEF, is collaborating with the government of Nigeria to protect children’s right to education in a safe and inclusive learning environment.

According to him, the programme involved; building the capacity of School-based management committees (SBMCs) on school safety and security and strengthening community resilience.

It also called on the authorities in Nigeria to make schools safe and provide a secure learning environment for every child, especially for girls, to increase their enrolment, retention, and completion of education.

He revealed that the first known attack on a learning institution in Nigeria took place on 14 April 2014, when 276 students at Government Girls Secondary School Chibok, Borno State, were abducted by Boko Haram members.

He said since then, there had been a spate of attacks on schools and abductions of students, sometimes resulting in deaths.

He said the incidents had become recurrent in the last two years, especially in the northwest and north-central regions of the country.

“Since December 2020, 1,436 school children and 17 teachers have been abducted from schools, and 16 school children lost their lives,” it stated.

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