International Day for protection of education school girls

The United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Education In Emergercies Working Group Nigeria (EiEWGN) on Wednesday celebrates the International Day for the Protection of Education to ensure continuous protection of education across the country.

The International Day For the protection of Education (IDPE) is a day set aside to review and draw attention on the importance of protecting education, to ensure that a generation of children are saved.

Speaking with Newsmen in Abuja, The Education Officer UNICEF, responsible for Education in Emergercies Coordination at National level, Ms. Judith Giwa-Amu said Education is the acquisition of knowledge for use to support socio-economic development of a nation .

Ms. Giwa-Amu speaking on the significance of protecting education noted that Education is not well protected might have adverse effects on both children, and even their teachers as they might be prevented them from continuing education trajectory.

“When Education is attack ,educational asset, being human lives, talking about children, teachers, non teaching personnel”. 

“When they are attacked, beyond the fact that their lives are truncated, their lives are affected in one way or the other. Those that are not physically attacked, they have pysco-social effect that can affect them and prevent them from continuing education trajectory”, She said.

Meanwhile, She stated that there is a l need to partner with Ministries of Education,Defence and Humanitarian Affairs as this will help fooster the relationship in education emergencies working group

“We realise that the ministry of Defence have a great role to play.

“In countries of the world and in Nigeria,we know that Education will not happen in some areas on the North East if the military is not physically present. However we see that with military forces, it changes the civilian nature of a school.

“We are looking for ways in which issues concerning school safety and security can be mainstream into their strategic document for them to be able to handle the children and school in a manner that their security is ensured”, She said.

Ms. Giwa-Amu noted that the safe school declaration was signed by the 104 countries, and Nigeria is among the 37 implementing countries.

“The implementation guideline is linked to the military, it recognises their role and the need to support Education.

“Security, Education & Humanitarian sectors are key sectors that must be engaged by all countries to ensure the safe school declaration, and they have been identified as the major organs in charge of implementation of safe school declaration”, she added.

Also the Minister of Defence, Major Gen. Bashir Magashi, stated that attack on education is a crime against any nation as it is one of the most prized assets of a country and as such must be well protected. 

“It is so because it provides the solid foundation for nation’s growth and development Thus, the survival and future of a nation is threatened when her education is under attack on our education.

“Attack on the educational facilities, learners or educational personnel, abduction or sexual harassment of the learners or school personnel, firced recruitment of learners or school personnel into armed group and attack on education is a crime against a nation”.

However, he reteirated the committment of the Nigerian military not to relent in their efforts to protecting the integrity of Nigeria and ensure her continued existence and growth in safety  and security. 

“We shall  continue to make efforts to ensure that education is not stopped even in the face of conflicts, keeping in mind all necessary protocols and guidelines including Safe Schools Declaration.

Major Magashi thereby call on communities, groups, and individuals to avail the Nigerian Army with all necessary cooperation towards protecting education from all forms of attack and saving our generation.

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