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Nigerian school children: Insecurity and human rights (2) – New Telegraph Newspaper

Introduction
Last week, we commenced our discourse on our endangered children. Their future appears bleak, colourless and near hopeless. It is our collective duty to save our children from the clutches of societal suffocation.
Aga Khan IV once said that the search for justice and security, the struggle for equality of opportunity, the quest for tolerance and harmony, the pursuit of human dignity – these are moral imperatives which we must work towards and think about on a daily basis.
These dreaded armed bandits severally kidnap, maim, and kill their victims. Many a time, most of their targets are the defenceless pupils and student of Secondary Schools, especially in the North.
The Eastern part of Nigeria is also seriously facing the threat of Balkanization orchestrated by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). On this note, we shall further x-ray and conclude our discourse today, having started with the international laws on the right education. Please, read on.
 
International laws on the right education (continues) 3.
 
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) of 1989
 
Article 28 of the CRC provides that:
 
(a) Make primary education compulsory and available free to all;
(b) Encourage the development of different forms of secondary education, including general and vocational education, make them available and accessible to every child, and take appropriate measures such as the introduction of free education and offering financial assistance in case of need;
(c) Make higher education accessible to all on the basis of capacity by every appropriate means;
(d) Make educational and vocational information and guidance available and accessible to all children;
(e) Take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools and the reduction of drop-out rates. 1. State Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the present Convention.
In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.
 
Article 29 of the CRC further provides that:
 
(a) The development of the child’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential;
(b) The development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;
(c) The development of respect for the child’s parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate, and for civilizations different from his or her own;
(d) The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin;
(e) The development of respect for the natural environment.
 
The State Parties to this Convention agree that: (a) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; it shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace;
(b) It is essential to respect the liberty of parents and, where applicable, of legal guardians, firstly to choose for their children institutions other than those maintained by the public authorities but conforming to such minimum educational standards as may be laid down or approved by the competent authorities and, secondly, to ensure in a manner consistent with the procedures followed in the State for the application of its legislation, the religious and moral education of the children in conformity with their own convictions; and no person or group of persons should be compelled to receive religious instruction inconsistent with his or their convictions;
(c) It is essential to recognize the right of members of national minorities to carry on their own educational activities, including the maintenance of schools and, depending on the educational policy of each state, the use or the teaching of their own language, provided however:
(i) That this right is not exercised in a manner which prevents the members of these minorities from understanding the culture and language of the community as a whole and from participating in its activities, or which prejudices national sovereignty;
(ii) That the standard of education is not lower than the general standard laid down or approved by the competent authorities; and (iii) That attendance at such schools is optional.
 
Now this Conclusion
 
Insecurity has left many children out of school and without any form of education over the past few years, with arbitrary hike in school fees in recent times.
 
The recent abductions are part of a very worrisome trend that underscores students’ lack of safety in Nigeria.
 
According to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF),    over 13 million Nigerian children are not enrolled in school, more than anywhere else in the world. About 8 million of those children are located in Nigeria’s northern states, where violent conflicts spanning more than a decade have exacerbated the situation.
 
The Ministry of Education has stated that about 3 million children have dropped out of school since 2020, stating the Coronavirus and increasing insecurity as the most probable reasons for the large number of out of school children.
 
Nigeria has been faced with insecurity challenges, especially with the high rise of terrorists and kidnappers, terrorizing schools and holding students captive in the north. In the desperate bid for government to curtail the issue of kidnapping, they have closed down schools. Some school pupils and students are demoralized and unwilling to return to school because of the phobia of being kidnapped. Security is the duty of the government to the people.
 
The clear provisions of section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution provides that: The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. This provision of the Constitution coupled with Section 18 of the Constitution firmly shows that the duty of the government to the people is to ensure that its citizens enjoy both security and education at all times.
 
Thus, the drivers of this administration must take urgent steps to ensure this fundamental right is enforced and that children resume schools immediately in a more secure environment.
 
And this
Crack your ribs
There are two sides to every coin. Life itself contains not only the good, but also the bad and the ugly. Let us now explore these.
 
“Can you imagine?
 
“WOMAN: I have been happily married for 20 years only to find out last week that my husband has another wife outside for the past 18 years, but he’s been a wonderful husband. Please, help me! “COUNSELLOR: You don’t need any help. The outside wife is the reason you have been happily married that long & why your husband has been so wonderful to you. When business is booming, you open other branches. That’s what your husband did” – Anonymous.
 
Thought for the week
 
“The equal right of all citizens to health, education, work, food, security, culture, science, and wellbeing – that is, the same rights we proclaimed when we began our struggle, in addition to those which emerge from our dreams of justice and equality for all inhabitants of our world” (Fidel Castro).
Last line
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