Newsbreak: Nigeria tops list of violent attacks on schools in Africa

-Attacks on students, teachers rise by 20%

By Samuel Ogunsona

Nigeria is the worst place for attacks on school children, a new report has revealed.

Attacks on children in and out of schools have continued to increase in Africa’s largest democracy.

Save the Children International said in a new report that the number of violent incidents affecting education in African countries rise by 20% in 2023 with the majority of the incidents taking place in Nigeria.

In a new report by the organization released during the 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa on Friday has shown the dramatic rise in violence affecting schools, teachers and learners.

According to the analysis, (411) reports of violent incidents were recorded of which Nigeria top the record with (89) incidents followed by Sudan with (55) cases.

The incidents across Africa included drone strikes on schools, the killing of primary teachers, and the use of tear gas to disperse teacher meetings in schools.

Others may include the killing of school guard and dumping of body, the raid of a primary school to use it as a training ground, and air-raids on schools sheltering displaced families.

However, the African leaders say they are committed to build a resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality, and relevant learning in Africa, as Education is part of the most pressing issues that will be discussed during Africa Union’s conference in 2024.

Save the Children is also calling on countries in the AU who have not endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration to do so, and for those countries to fully implement the commitments in the Declaration, including developing a costed implementation plan.

The Deputy Speaker at the National Children’s Parliament in Nigeria, Ibrahim Zanna Sunoma, urged AU members to use the summit as a concrete step to implement the 2024 year of education.

“Growing up in the deadly armed conflict in Northeast Nigeria, I’ve borne witness to the catastrophic toll that violent incidents exert on our education systems. These acts of violence not only ravage school buildings but also tear at the very fabric of our society, leaving a trail of shattered dreams and fractured futures in their wake. They instill fear and rob countless children of their fundamental right to learn in a safe and nurturing environment. The scars of these traumatic experiences run deep, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of we, the children,” he said

According to him “When crisis befalls us, the next thing that follows is schools shut down, destroyed, vandalized, and looted. Thousands of children, teachers, and other school personnel are killed, abducted, and maimed, and those that are left have a crippled definition of the future.”

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