Plan International Calls For Child Protection In Schools

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Nigerian School Children

As the world marks the International Day of Education, an international non-
governmental organisation, Plan International has made a call for the protection of children and schools.

The Country Director of Plan International Nigeria, Charles Usie in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja expressed concerns over increasing violence on children at school across the country in recent time, with particular reference to the kidnap and murder of five-year-old Hanifa in Kano by her school proprietor and the slashing of the throat of a student in Maiduguri, Borno state by a fellow student.

“The school is hallowed ground for children and learners that must never be allowed to be desecrated.

“The rising attacks on schools and innocent children by mean spirited people should never be allowed to take root,” Usie said.

It would be recalled that the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education in commemoration of the role of education for peace and development.

This is because without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries would not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind.

Also, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural (UNESCO) estimated that some “258 million children and youth still do not attend school” globally; “617 million children and adolescents cannot read and do basic math; less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa complete lower secondary school and some four million children and youth refugees are out of school.

” In Nigeria, about 10.5 million children are out of school – the highest in the world.

“Most of these children are in Nigeria’s northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, where Boko Haram insurgency have disrupted academic activities.

“When education is under attack, a generation is attacked. Girls and women are more vulnerable in times of conflict and that their vulnerability makes them more susceptible to trauma, fear, gender-based violence, physical and sexual abuse which
will force them to withdraw from school, hence childhood dream fading away,” the Plan International Country Director said.

He called on the authorities and other stakeholders to double their efforts to ensure that the kidnapping of children that has made total or partial closure of schools in Zamfara, Katsina, Adamawa, Kaduna, Niger and other states was brought to an end to enable children have unfettered access to learning.

” As we celebrate the day today, let’s all join hands to ensure that we are part of the generation that will “Change Course and Transform Education.”

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