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Kidnapping: 1.3 million children impacted by attacks on schools in Nigeria —UN – Punch Newspapers

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Edward Kallon
The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, has strongly condemned the incessant attacks on schools and kidnappings that have affected thousands of children in a number of states in the country.
According to him, Nigeria cannot afford to leave incessant attacks on schools unaddressed.
In a statement commemorating the 2021 International Day to Protect Education from Attack on Thursday, Kallon noted that 1.3 million children have been impacted by attacks or abductions at schools in Nigeria in the last academic year.
He described this as a direct attack on the future generation, adding that it is traumatic for the children, undermines their individual dignity, and sometimes leads affected families to withdraw them from education entirely.

The statement was titled, ‘UN condemns attack on schools, calls for more efforts to protect students and ensure uninterrupted teaching and learning.’
Kallon further asked the Federal Government to review the progress made in implementing safe schools under the UN declaration and fully put into practice commitments made in 2019 by taking decisive action to protect education from attack and give “this great nation’s children the chance to fulfill their promise.”

He stated, “I strongly condemn every form of attack that has kept many children away from schools. I call on the Federal and State Governments to do more to protect schools from attack and to ensure that teaching and learning is safe and conducive in all schools in Nigeria.”
The Resident Coordinator observed that “whenever teaching and learning is disrupted, the impact on human capital development is enormous as the recovery period is always tortuous and longer than the length of the initial disruption.


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“Children are traumatized; parents are scared; teachers and school administrators are afraid; attacks on schools are gradually spreading to areas not known to insurgencies. With education under attack, the collective future of Nigeria is under threat. This must stop now!”
The UN noted that too often, the right to education fell under attack, especially in conflict-affected areas, where entire populations could be denied learning.
He said, “With over 10 million children already out of school, conflict has aggravated the situation and deeply affected education and the prospects of many young people, especially its most vulnerable ones. In the last academic year, it is estimated that 1.3 million children have been impacted by attacks or abductions at schools in Nigeria.
“Across the north-east region alone, over 600,000 children remain out of school and some 1.1 million need educational support to stay in school. This has all been compounded by the setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The International Day to Protect Education from Attack is aimed at raising awareness of the plight of children in conflict-affected areas growing up without access to education.

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