June 4, 2021

Insurgency: 2,295 teachers killed, 1,400 schools destroyed in North-East since 2009 — UNICEF, EU


File: Cameroonian soldiers patrol on November 12, 2014 in Amchide, northern Cameroon, 1 km from Nigeria. The city was raided by Islamists from Nigeria’s Boko Haram, killing eight cameroonian soldiers and leading the population to flee on October 15, 2014, before another six coordinated attacks that killed at least three civilians in the remote north of the country, on November 9, 2014. Boko Haram’s five-year insurgency in neighboring Nigeria has left thousands dead, and the Islamists have occasionally carried out attacks over the border. Cameroon has deployed more than 1,000 soldiers in the extreme northeast of the country to counter the Islamist threat. AFP PHOTO

…Handed over 116 classrooms, 53 latrines to Borno govt

By Bashir Bello, KANO

United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF and European Union, EU on Friday said no fewer than 2,295 teachers have lost their lives while 1,400 schools were destroyed in North-East Nigeria since 2009 and as a result of insurgency.

This came as they said they have handed over 116 newly constructed/renovated classrooms and 53 latrines to the Borno State Universal Basic Education Board.

This was contained in a joint statement made available to newsmen by the organization’s media contacts, Folashade Adebayo and Modestus Chukwulaka respectively.

Part of the statement reads: “At least 20,000 children will benefit from classroom and toilet construction/renovation funded by the European Union in Borno State, North-East Nigeria.

Also Read: Plot to silence Mbaka imminent —Ohaneze Youths cry out

“Implemented by UNICEF through state and local partners, 116 newly constructed/renovated classrooms and 53 latrines have now been handed to the Borno State Universal Basic Education Board. The facilities will support girls’ education, reduce classroom congestion, and improve access and retention of conflict-affected children in school.

“Children in Borno State are among the most conflict-affected and educationally disadvantaged in the world. Since 2009, over 1,400 schools have been destroyed and 2,295 teachers killed across the North-East in protracted conflict.

“Attacks by armed groups on education and school facilities, the influx of internally displaced families into metropolitan cities and population growth have also stretched existing school structures to the limit, creating challenges of access, retention, and school completion.”

The Head of Health, Nutrition, Resilience and Human Development at the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms Montse Pantaleoni, hailed the initiative and said the EU and its member states are committed to supporting the government of Nigeria in the area of education, including the strengthening of Education Management Information System for longer term benefits in the sector.

“Education is a fundamental human right and investing in people is the most important investment any government could make for its citizens. Getting a number of out-of-school children back to school, and especially keeping the girls longer in school will contribute to better parenthood and reduce the effects of poverty that fuels protracted insurgency,” said Montse Pantaleoni.

Similarly, Deputy Representative UNICEF in Nigeria, Rushnan Murtaza, commended the EU for the funding to ensure the rights of the children in North-East Nigeria to access quality education.

“Children in North-East Nigeria face unique challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated existing challenges in access to and quality of education, even further. While many barriers remain, we can be pleased to see progress is being made.

“For conflict-affected children and their families, education is a lifeline out of generational poverty. We are grateful for the funding from the EU to ensure the rights of the children in North-East Nigeria to access quality education,” said Rushnan Murtaza.

It was  gathered that the projects were components of a three-year €10 million European Union Support to Early Recovery and Resilience package to UNICEF to support children, youths, and communities in Borno State. Other components in the package include the provision of vocational skill acquisition and non-formal education to at least 25,000 young people.

Meanwhile, the newly constructed/renovated classrooms and latrines spread across Gwoza, Hawul, Mobbar, Monguno, Jere and Maiduguri Metropolitan Council local government areas, are expected to provide immediate relief to children in some of the most hard-to-reach areas in the state.

Vanguard News Nigeria