UN Wants 11 Million Out-Of-School Children In Northeast Educated
Eleven million children are out of school in the northeast.
Their deprivation heightened in 2009 when the Boko Haram terrorists launched a destructive campaign for the establishment of an Islamic State and an end to Western education in the northeast.
They had attacked different schools in the region, killing school children and abducting some in the process.
In April 2014 over 200 girls were taken from their school's dormitory by members of the terrorist group.
Since their abduction less than 120 of them have been release. Others are still in captivity.
The situation has forced most parents to withdraw their children from schools and it is a source of concern for the United Nations (UN) which on Tuesday stressed the need for the children to be put back to school.
UN Special Envoy for Global Education and a former British Prime Minister, Mr Gordon Brown, believes that an intervention programme of the Commission on Financing Education Opportunity in the northeast to ensure that children in the region return to school would yield result.
Brown, who is also the chairman of the Commission explained that it was giving more funds to help the Nigerian education system move forward.
According to him, the commission and Acting President Yemi Osinbajo are already discussing ways to secure global funds to address the education challenges confronting the northeast.
“We think there are probably around 11 million children that are not in school. We know that the Boko Haram attacks remained a huge problem and the terrain too.
“These have prevented girls, particularly, from going to school and we know that there have been many abductions.
“And they are still tragically many of the girls that were kidnapped from Chibok that have not returned,” Brown said.
Still launching Attacks
While efforts are on to make sure that the students return to school, fears have been raised about how safe children will be in school, with members of the terrorist group regrouping and still launching attacks even on a higher institution in Maiduguri, Borno State.
To ensure the students safety, the Nigerian government had launched a Safe Schools Initiative in April 2014, but the former British premier still stressed the need for more funding for the project to ensure that every child is safe at school.
The initiative is expected to cost $30 million.
“We want every girl to be safe and boys also to be safe when they go to school but particularly girls.
“The Safe Schools Initiative is designed to help fortify the schools and also help the telecommunications between the schools and prevent the attacks.
“This is so people can get advanced warnings and to give people the security that there might be some better protection in case there was an attack.
“So the Safe School Initiative has been something that other countries adopted since Nigeria led the way.
“The Safe Schools Initiative is being implemented in different parts of the world but obviously we need more resources into the Nigerian system and that’s what this new proposal is about,” he said.