The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called on the Nigerian government to take all measures to protect schools in the country to make learning safer for children.
The appeal was made because of the high-risk school situation in the country due to the ongoing abductions of children in schools.
A senior official of UNICEF’s Nigeria office in a press statement called for the immediate and unconditional release of the 150 abducted pupils of Salihu Tanko Islamiya School in Tegina, Rafi LGA, Niger State, a fortnight ago.
He expressed concern over the fate of the children, some of whom are as young as three years old.
According to Rushnan, UNICEF is appalled that the children are still with their abductors two weeks after they were taken from the school.
According to him, “parents are grieving the disappearance of their children, siblings are missing their brothers and sisters, these children must be released immediately and unconditionally and safely reunited with their families.”
He regretted that children in schools continue to be targeted, saying, “We can only begin to imagine how frightened they are and the impact this has on their mental health and well-being.”
The fund reminded Nigeria of its promise to implement the Financing Safe Schools in Nigeria conference in April this year, which aims to enable children to go to school without fear, while parents should also not be afraid to send their children to school.
She stressed that attacks on students and schools are not only reprehensible but a gross violation of children’s right to education.
“It is a right that no society can afford to violate. Schools must be safe places for learning and development, and learning should not be a risky endeavour.