July 25, 2021

NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA

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UN strategising to strengthen, protect education in Nigeria – Coordinator

United Nations to hold inaugural commemoration of International Day for Protection of Education from Attack.

By Ifeanyi Nwoko

In a bid to continue to strengthen the protection of Education from Attack, the United Nations will on Wednesday, hold an inaugural commemoration of the International Day for the Protection of Education from Attack.

The day which is set aside to draw the attention of key stakeholders to their responsibilities at ensuring that children are able to receive education, was declared on May 29, 2020.

Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Dr Judith Giwa-Amu, Education Officer of UNICEF,  said the day was important because of the role of education as an equalizer.

NAN reports that the working group is the UN group responsible for coordinating education in emergencies programmes.

Giwa-Amu, who is also the Nigerian Coordinator, Education in Emergencies Working Group, said that anything that will keep children from going to school is considered an attack on education and should be prevented.

“On Wednesday Sept. 9, will be commemorating the International Day for the protection of Education from Attack, this day has been selected to draw to our attention our responsibility to ensure tat children are able to receive education.

“We know that education is a huge equalizer, so if children are able to engage in Education, they will be able to play their roles in the society.

“Anything that will keep children from going to school is affecting them and is an attack on education,” Giwa-Amu said.

Giving insights into activities lined up to commemorate the Day, Giwa-Amu said that there would hold in the North East and also at the National levels.

She said that in the North East, a high power delegation led by the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of education would be visiting the region.

The coordinator said that children and teachers would also be involved in telling stories about how insurgency has affected their lives and how they were able to resume schooling regardless.

“There would be series of activities, part of which will involve children who will use art works and poetry to express how attacks have affected them

“We are also looking at communities that have been attacked, how they have been able to build resilience, how they have been able to resume school after the attack.

“We want to recognize those kind of communities that refused to stay down even though they have been attacked,” she said.

She further disclosed that a webinar that will feature both national and international audience will be held with the topic: “strengthening communities to protect education from attack”.

Giwa-Amu said that the UN Working Group was looking at the fact that the communities are the ones in the immediate physical contact with the children and the schools when there is an attack.

She noted that even before the security forces come from the state, the perpetrators have attacked and moved, hence the need to partner the communities on ways to prevent attacks on education. (NAN)

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