The United Nations says 11,533 schools in Nigeria have been closed since December 2020 due to fears of incoming militants abducting students, a problem that has severely affected the education of nearly one million children. and a half last year.
A statement from UNICEF spokesman Samuel Kaalu said the impediment to further education had hampered the provision of education and skills to children, a problem that could cost up to $ 3.5 billion. their lives, which will further create poverty in the community.
Kaalu said UNICEF, in collaboration with aid agencies, is working with the Nigerian government to protect children’s right to education in high-risk areas under a program that includes teacher training on how to ensure the safety of their students and community engagement. in.
UNICEF also called on the Nigerian government to increase security measures to protect schools and protect children, especially girls.
A UNICEF statement said the first attack in Nigeria was on Chibok West High School on April 14, 2014, where 276 students were abducted by Boko Haram.
UNICEF says since then there has been an increase in the number of students being expelled from various schools, leading to occasional deaths, a problem that has spread from the North-West, to the North-Central and North-East.
The statement said that from December 2020 to date, 1,436 students and 17 teachers have been abducted in various schools, and 16 of them have lost their lives.