By Princess-Ekwi Ajide, Abuja
September 9(Newshour.com.ng) – The Federal Government of Nigeria has said attacks in schools create environment of fear, resulting in increased school drop-out rates, diminished enrollment and compromised educational quality.
The Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu, who stated this at an event to celebrate the international day to protect education from attacks with students in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, called for collective commitment to protect education from further attacks.
The theme for the 2023 celebration is making schools Safe through the implementation of the Safe School policy.
According to the Minister of State, the heartbreaking attack on Federal Government College, Buni-Yadi, Yobe State, the tragic massacre of 29 students on February 24, 2014, abductions of 276 Chibok girls in April 2014 and the kidnapping of 110 girls in Dapchi in 2018 are poignant examples of the ongoing crisis.
He acknowledged that the security of students, teachers, and educational infrastructure is paramount for sustainable development in all climes, hence in Nigeria, policy makers and stakeholders cannot ignore the grave challenges posed to education in some states of the nation due to insurgency.
Dr. Sununu, noted that attacks on education have far-reaching implications, explaining that apart from disrupting the lives of students, it also affects the future development of the nation detrimentally.
He said that the Federal Government has put in place initiatives for safe learning environments and protection of learners in furtherance of protecting education from attacks and to ensure its continuity even in the face of adversity.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, David Adejo, on his part, emphasised the urgency and importance of safeguarding educational institutions while ensuring that they remain sanctuaries of knowledge and growth for the nation’s future generations.
The Permanent Secretary who was represented by the Director of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the ministry, Abubakar Isah, said it is imperative to focus on the kinetic and non-kinetic means of tackling insecurity in the institutions as as well on psychological safety, especially at the lower levels.
He stated that the country’s commitment to the safe school policy extends beyond safeguarding physical structures but also encompasses a commitment to promoting a culture of peace and dialogue.