ABUJA, SEPTEMBER 11, 2020 (CISA)-The United Nations has called for strengthening of the education system to safeguard education and restore confidence in schools as safe places for children and teachers as schools prepare to reopen amid Covid-19.
“As State Governments plan to reopen schools after prolonged closures, building a resilient education system to withstand future shocks should be included in pandemic response plans,” said the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon in a September 9 press release.
He noted that prioritizing safety in schools for educators and learners is an indication of the Government’s commitment to protecting investments in the education sector and a validation of Nigeria’s endorsement of the Safe Schools Declaration.
While the world marks the first-ever International Day to Protect Education from Attack under the theme “Protect Education, Save a Generation” more than three million children in the conflict affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe in north-east Nigeria are in need of education-in emergency support.
“Education is essential to helping crisis-affected communities in the north-east rebuild and recover. Attacks on schools are a direct attack on future generations. I call on all parties to the conflict to take all necessary measures to protect education and give learners a chance to build a brighter future,” Mr Kallon said.
Left unchecked, the UN said incessant attacks on schools and learners could reverse the gains on education investments made by government of Nigeria, the UN and other multilateral, bilateral, and private sector partners over years.
With school reopening plans underway in many states, the UN called for increased funding, noting that it would go a long way in mitigating the effects of prolonged school closures on learners, especially vulnerable children, including girls and others living with disabilities.
In north-east Nigeria, education in emergency partners are appealing for $55 million USD to provide emergency education to 3.1 conflict-affected children this year. So far this year, only $3.3 million USD, a mere 6 per cent of the total needed, has been received so far.
46 million primary and secondary learners across Nigeria have been affected due to pandemic-related school closures.