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Education under attack in Northeastern Nigeria – UNESCO



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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has lamented the attack on teachers and other educational facilities in Northeastern part of Nigeria by the Boko Haram terrorist group.

In the 2018 UNESCO global education monitoring report (GEM), the UN agency said about 2,300 teachers have been killed and another 19,000 displaced in the region since the start of the insurgency in 2009, affecting access to education.

“In north-eastern Nigeria, as of late 2017, there were 1.6 million IDPs, including an estimated 700,000 school-age children, as a result of violent attacks on civilians by Boko Haram, which began in 2009 (UNOCHA, 2017b),” the report read in part.

“Boko Haram has destroyed nearly 1,000 schools and displaced 19,000 teachers (HRW, 2016). Reports indicated it had killed almost 2,300 teachers by 2017 (UNOCHA, 2017a).

“The latest education needs assessment found that out of 260 school sites, 28% had been damaged by bullets, shells or shrapnel, 20% had been deliberately set on fire, 32% had been looted and 29% had armed groups or military in close proximity.”

UNESCO lamented the shortage of qualified teachers in the northeast, stating security and poor remuneration as reasons why the teachers are emigrating from the region.

“Ongoing safety concerns, coupled with teacher salaries that do not cover even basic expenses and delays in payment, perpetuate a shortage of qualified teachers,” UNESCO added.

The report also revealed that there is a shortage of teachers in the Almajiri school system, predominant in northern Nigeria.

“In the almajiri system, a teacher can be responsible for up to 100 students, predominantly poor boys who often end up on the street begging for alms,” the report read.

The leading presidential candidates for 2019 election in Nigeria have said they would work on education in the country.

While incumbent Muhammadu Buhari is promising 10,000 smart classrooms per year, Oby Ezekwesili, former minister of education says she would incentivise teaching with a housing scheme for teachers.


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