The Federal Government has promised to rebuild schools affected by insurgency.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, at the first International Day of Education made the promise on Thursday, January 24, 2019 in Abuja.
The theme of the celebration is: “Education: A Key Driver for Inclusion and Empowerment.’’
Represented by Mrs Christy Ogbede, Director, Education Planning and Research Development in the ministry, Adamu said that no country could thrive in an atmosphere of violence and insecurity.
“It will please you to note that the Federal Ministry of Education is taking proactive steps to ensure that all basic education schools in states affected by insurgency are rehabilitated or rebuilt.
“The Federal Ministry of Education is making every effort to promote inclusive education and uphold the SDGs slogan of ` Leave No One Behind’ by ensuring that every child of school age has unrestricted access to basic education.’’
The minister added that with the inception of insurgency in the North -East, education had been under attack, resulting in killing of learners, teachers and destruction of education facilities.
“Over 2,295 teachers have been killed and 19,000 displaced in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in the last nine years.
“An estimated 1,500 schools have been destroyed since 2014, with over 1,280 casualties among children, teachers and schools are in the forefront of the conflict.’’
He, however, commended the Office of the Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs), for its role in strategic partnership with the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution to check violence.
Earlier, Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, said that about 60 per cent of the 10.5 million out of school children are girls, and called for concerted efforts to reduce the number.
Adefulire, who was represented by Dr Hassan Suleiman, Secretary of Programmes, SDGs said the number was prominent in the north, hence the need for all stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the problems.
“Of the 10.5 million out of school children in Nigeria, 60 per cent are girls, which is a figure we got from UNICEF Nigeria 2018 survey.
“While this is a national problem, the phenomenon is more pronounced in northern Nigeria. You will agree with me that this is unacceptable and we must individually and collectively take concrete steps to address this,’’ he said.
Similarly, Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director General, of UNESCO, in a message, called on stakeholders to partner to make education a leading priority.
The message which was read by Mr Abdullahi Salifu, Regional Adviser for UNESCO, said the world was still far from achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 4.
“Without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind.
“This day is the occasion to reaffirm fundamental principles. Firstly, education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility.
“Secondly, education is the most powerful force in the hands to ensure significant improvements in health, to stimulate economic growth and unlock potential and innovation to build resilient and sustainable societies.’’
She, therefore, called for an urgent need to strengthen national resources and international aid, saying that not investing in education would lead to deepening divisions, inequalities and exclusion within societies.