FG reiterates commitment to protect education from attack

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The Federal Government has reiterated commitment towards galvanising actions that would ensure the protection of the country’s education from attack.

The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu said this at a news conference in Abuja, on Monday.

Adamu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Sonny Echono, said there was a need to continue to protect the education sector from attacks.

He said that the country would join others to host the International Conference on Safe Schools Declaration (SSD) from Oct. 25 to Oct. 27 in Abuja.

According to him, SSD is an inter-governmental political commitment by states to better protect the students and staff of schools and universities during armed conflict.

“The SSD will implement concrete measures to deter security forces from use of schools, make governments commit to strengthened monitoring and reporting of attacks on education, investigate and prosecute perpetrators of attacks on education and provide assistance to victims.

“The Declaration has served as an effective tool for protecting students and educators from attacks perpetrated by armed force and armed groups, since 2015.

“ Since then, a significant majority of UN member states numbering 112 (more than half of all UN Member States), representing all regions of the globe including Nigeria, have endorsed the declaration.

”By implication the 112 Member States have committed to protecting children and teachers in conflict situations, and to avoiding the use of schools and universities as military resources or targets.

“Its contribution is to preserving the civilian nature of these facilities specifically, these member states have expressed political commitment to ensure the safety of civilians,”he said.

Adamu added that by endorsing the declaration, states agreed to use the guidelines for protecting schools and universities from military use during armed conflict, a non-binding practical tool to deter military use of schools and universities.

He said that with the incessant attacks on education which had been further compounded with the COVID-19 situation, there was high need to better protect education for improved educational outcomes.

He explained that the Abuja Conference was the first to be held on the African continent, saying that the previous conferences were held in 2015, 2017 and 2019 in Oslo Norway, Buenos Aires Argentina and Palma de Mallorca, Spain respectively.

He added that the conference would also serve to maintain and amplify momentum of the SSD and its commitment to make safe education for all a reality.

Nigeria is co-hosting the Conference, with the African Union Commission (AUC), the governments of Argentina, Norway, and Spain, as well as the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA)

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