Over 1.3 million northern children’s education was disrupted by school attacks, says UNICEF

Over 1.3 million children have experienced disruptions in their education as a result of recent school attacks, mostly in the North East and North West areas of 2021, according to UNICEF, which has published this information and called for precautionary shutdown of schools.

This is in response to the UN Agency emphasising how urgent it is to address school safety in its entirety.

The UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, made the following statement in honour of the International Day of Education on Wednesday: “A recent evaluation indicates that, on average, only 43 per cent of the Minimum Standards for Safe Schools are being met in about 6,000 assessed schools.”

“This finding particularly highlights challenges in ensuring the safety of school infrastructure and in mitigating risks such as violence, conflict, and natural hazards.

“Nigeria had shown a commitment to creating safe school environments by endorsing the Safe Schools Declaration and developing the Minimum Standards for Safe Schools.

“Their educational journey is often disrupted by attacks on communities and schools, including the abduction of students. These challenges are particularly acute for adolescent girls, potentially stalling the progress made in girls’ education in Nigeria.

“To complement these efforts, UNICEF emphasises the importance of alternative learning platforms, such as the Nigerian Learning Passport. This digital platform, with over 750,000 users, offers curriculum-aligned materials and is crucial for ensuring continuity of education, especially during school closures.

“UNICEF remains committed to working with the Nigerian government, donors, and all partners to ensure that every child has access to a safe, inclusive, and quality education.”