The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR has disclosed that there were more than 12 million children currently traumatized and afraid of going to school especially the girl child.
He made the disclosure on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, while delivering his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 4th International Conference on Safe Schools Declaration in Abuja.
TheFact Nigeria noted that there has been increasing attacks in institutions of learning especially in the Northern part of the country.
President Buhari who was represented by the chief of staff, Ibrahim Gambari explained that the incessant attacks on the country’s education system was responsible for the growing number of Out-of-SchoolChildren.
He said: “The incessant attacks on the country’s education system such as kidnapping, abduction of pupils/students, increased activities of insurgence and general insecurity in our schools have exacerbated many factors responsible for the growing number of Out-of-School
“It is no longer news that at will, bandits, kidnappers and terrorists invade our educational facilities to abduct the learners in large numbers. Some places that have been hit by these menace include Chibok, Dapchi, Buni Yadi, Afaka, kagora, and Jangebe in Borno, Yobe, Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara states respectively”, he said.
The President noted that those students who were freed from/by their abductors were usually traumatized and this had a negative effect on their attention span for learning.
He said: “It is disheartening to note that even when the abducted students are released the trauma of the incidences remain long in their minds hence the plan to have teachers trained on psycho-social support.
“There are more than 12 million children currently children traumatized and afraid of going to school especially the girl child.
“On the other hand, for learners currently in school the fear and trauma created by having their fellow students and friends attacked, has impacted negatively on the quality of schooling as concentration and attention span for learning in such conditions have certainly waned.
“School closures due to abductions and security issues have impacted out of school and the wider implication of the foregoing is that of a generation of negativity on our education system”, Buhari lamented.
The President quoted a data released by S.B Morgen which showed that a total of 1,462 learners and education personnel were abducted between 1st December 2019 and September 2021 in school-related abductions as well as home and community- related abductions of Learners and teachers.
He further added that 19 educational institutions were attacked, 12 representing 63%, were secondary schools while 5 which represented 26% were within the tertiary educational system.
Buhari posited that the Nigerian Government was committed to prioritizing safety in schools to protect investments in the education sector
and was committed to observing all relevant international protocols, conventions and treaties for the protection of the country’s learning institutions and facilities from attack.
He reiterated that the Government, relevant security agencies, Education in Emergencies Working Group in Nigeria (EiEWGN), and all the relevant stakeholders would continue to work hard to end attacks on education and to ensure a safe and enabling learning environment.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba said the outcome of the conference would help to strengthen and protect the educational system in the country.
He added that from the conference, Nigeria would be able to leverage on the best practices in implementing the Safe Schools Declaration, see how new opportunities of collaborations could be utilized to set up preventive measures and provide response mechanisms.