Insecurity: Over one million children afraid of returning to school in Nigeria – UNICEF

Peter Hawkins, the United Nations Children’s fund (UNICEF) Representative in Nigeria, has again decried the unabated security challenges bedeviling Nigeria, the situation which he noticed has continued to halt school children from returning to the four walls of the classrooms.

Hawkins, who on Wednesday frowned at such act in a statement make available to DAILY POST in Jalingo, Taraba State, expressed sadness that no fewer the one million Nigeria children are afraid to return to school due to insecurity.

He said “It is unacceptable that communities should be worried to send their children to school over fears they will be abducted from what should be a safe space.”

“Sad that parents are now afraid that if they send their children to school.

“This insecurity situation must end so that children can return to their normal lives and benefit from all the important things being in school brings to them. It is unacceptable that children need to fear returning to their friends and classrooms.”

The statement observed that in Nigeria, education was delayed for many children due to COVID-19 restrictions during 2020, along with additional challenge of school closures due to prevailing insecurity across the country.

Learners, as stated by him “Are being cut off from their education and other vital benefits schools provide, as families and communities remain fearful of sending children back to their classrooms due to the spate of school attacks and student abductions in Nigeria over the last several months and the current climate of insecurity.”

“A child’s first day of school should be an exciting event for parents and children” he felt sad that the reverse has been the case in Nigeria .

“So far this year, there have been 20 attacks on schools in Nigeria, with 1,436 children abducted and 16 children dead. More than 200 children are still missing.”

While urging the governments to reopen school for in-person learning “as soon as possible and to provide comprehensive recovery response for students ” UNICEF together with World Health Organization (WHO) UNESCO, he said are calling for governments to fashioned out ways of bringing all children and youth back to school school.”

More to their demands the governments they said should put in place effective remedial learning to help students catch up on lost learning and to as well support teachers to address learning losses and incorporate digital technology into their teaching.