Students’ Abduction: Nigeria’s Future Under Threat, UN tells FG

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The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, yesterday, warned the Federal Government on the dangers of attack on schools and abduction of students.

Kallon, who condemned the incessant attacks on schools, said in a statement, titled ”The collective future of Nigeria is under threat,” that kidnappings had affected hundreds of children in a number of states in the country.

The UN official, who raised the alarm that the education sector was under attack in Nigeria, stated this in commemoration of the 2021 International Day to protect Education from Attack, which takes place every September 9.

He said the UN condemned attack on schools, and called for more efforts to protect students and ensure uninterrupted teaching and learning.

Kallon, who noted that attacks on schools were a direct attack on the future generation, said: “It is traumatic for the children, undermines their individual dignity, and sometimes leads affected families to withdraw them from education entirely.

“I strongly condemn every form of attack that has kept many children away from schools. I call on the federal and state governments to do more to protect schools from attack and ensure that teaching and learning were safe and conducive in all schools in Nigeria.

“Whenever teaching and learning iare disrupted, the impact on human capital development is enormous as the recovery period is always tortuous and longer than the length of the initial disruption.

“Children are traumatized, parents are scared, teachers and school administrators are afraid; attacks on schools are gradually spreading to areas not known to insurgencies.

”With education under attack, the collective future of Nigeria is under threat. This must stop now.

“With over 10 million children already out of school, conflict has aggravated the situation and deeply affected education and the prospects of many young people, especially its most vulnerable ones.

”In the last academic year, it is estimated that 1.3 million children have been impacted by attacks or abductions at schools in Nigeria.

“Across the north-east region alone, over 600,000 children remain out of school and some 1.1 million need educational support to stay in school. This has all been compounded by the setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”