UNICEF And Borno State To Partner To Protect Education From Boko Haram
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Borno state government
are to partner protect education from Boko Haram attacks, as school
facilities are destroyed by insurgents.
The decade long insurgency, has claimed also 32,000 lives with
property worth %9.2 billion (N3.52 trillion) in Borno, Adamawa and
Announcing joint protections Wednesday in Maiduguri; to mark
International Day to Protect Education from Attack (IDPEA), Permanent
Secretary in Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono disclosed
that; “Many Nigerian children are denied the fundamental right to
education, due to incessant attacks on education facilities.”
According to UNICEF, the Safe School Declaration is a political
commitment endorsed by 104 countries to protect education and learners
Echono said that when school facilities are attacked, pupils, students
and their teachers are also abducted, killed and schools closed.
He said when schools are closed in insurgency affected states of
Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, millions of children are denied access to
The UNICEF Chief of Field Office in Borno, Maulid Warfa, also urged
government at all levels to prioritise the safeguarding of children
and educational institutions.
According to him, armed conflict, occupation of schools by military,
gender-based violence, lack of gender-segregated latrines and
sanitation facilities in schools could deny rights of children to
Warfa who commended the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
for its support for education programmes in North East Nigeria,
lamented the impact of armed conflict on children living in the North
He noted that children bear the brunt of neglect of the education
sector the most.
He warned that any country that fails to protect children and their
rights to education will eventually be covered in dark clouds.
“I know this because I had to flee from my village in my country when
I was only seven years. I lived in a refugee camp almost throughout my
“Children are the most vulnerable population and education is the most
vulnerable institution that must be protected. As UNICEF, we are
standing shoulder to shoulder with the Borno State
Government and other development partners to push the agenda to ensure
that children are safe and they learn in safe and conducive
environments,” he said.
He urged the state government to provide adequate water and sanitation
facilities in schools ahead of school reopening.
According to him, protecting children from the COVID-19 pandemic
highlights Nigeria’s commitment to the Safe School Declaration.
Echolo at the commemoration day, said: “Nigeria has endorsed the Safe
School Declaration (SSD) as signed by Minister of Education, Adamu
Adamu on March 8, 2018.
He said the federal government has supported the need declare
September 9, as IDPEA at UN General Assembly.
Nigeria, according to him, is to co-host the 4th International
Conference of Safe Schools in 2021,
He said the conference; was the implement commitments towards
providing a conducive environment for children to learn.
“The federal education ministry and other international education
partners, have security $20 million (N7, 66 billion) Accelerated
Emergency Funding for the Northeast from Global Partnership for
Education (GPE),” said Echono
He explained that the funding, was to complement what Borno state
government and humanitarian partners, are doing to provide quality
education in emergencies to conflict affected children.
While responding to protect children, Governor Babagana Zulum has said
that the state government; is building more classrooms to accommodate
Zulum, who was represented by Commissioner of Education, Hon. Bello
Ayuba, said the Ministry of Education and the State Universal Basic
Education Board (SUBEB) have been directed to launch programmes that
will enrolment more out-of-school children.
His words: “We are constructing more classrooms so that effective
teaching and learning can take place.
“Many of the school children from Abadam, Mobbar, Guzamala and Monguno
councils are now registered in schools in Maiduguri, the state
capital,” adding that government is keen in providing more classrooms
to accommodate them.
While appreciating efforts of UN agencies, he said: “We appreciate the
efforts of development partners, including Education-in-Emergencies
Working Group, UNICEF and Save the Children International,” noting
that they’re complementing state government efforts provide