Initiative for Grassroots Interventions and Development in Education (IGIDE), an affiliate of CSACEFA, Nigeria joins the global world, today, to celebrate 2022 International Day to Protect Education from Attacks.
In a statement signed by Mrs. Eunice Egbuna, Executive Director IGIDE/State Coordinator CSACEFA Abia Chapter, said available records show that education has been subjected to deliberate attacks and neglect in various forms.
“Attacks on education is a global concern with recorded instances in many countries of the world, Nigeria not excluded,” the statement read. “This global concern led to the first International Conference, where consultations and deliberations with relevant stakeholders on ways of tackling the issue of attacks on education were brainstormed.”
“The outcome of the conference was the Safe School Declaration (SSD) with its commitments, aimed at protecting learners and teachers, and securing learning environments. It is recorded that Nigeria was among the 37 countries that endorsed the SSD on May 29th, 2015 in Oslo, Norway.
“On March, 2018, the Federal Ministry of Education signed the letter of endorsement of SSD. Subsequently on March, 20th, 2019, the Federal Executive Council approved the memorandum for implementation of the SSD laws and policies in Nigeria. Then in December 2019, President Buhari signed the SSD document, signaling the country’s willingness to uphold and apply the principles, thereby paving way for its domestication.
“The 4th International Conference on SSD was held in Nigeria from the 25th to 27th October 2021, with the theme “Ensuring Safety Access to Education for All: Commitment to Practice”. It was a call to seriously tackle emerging issues of kidnapping and other forms of attacks on education, with emphasis on the need to secure our schools and cut down on the alarming records of Out of School Children in Nigeria.
“Presently, there is an existing National Policy on Safe, Security and Violence Free School (NPSSVFS), produced by the Education in Emergency Working Group, Nigeria (EIEWGN) already passed into law. It contained minimum standard for Safe School Declaration (SSD) and Plan of Action (POA) for 2021-2023, and specified actions to be taken, nationwide to curtail the increased attacks on education, including best practices in each of the 112 countries that signed into it, which Nigeria is one of them.
“Though, in Abia State, armed attacks and kidnapping are not common occurrences in our schools, there is still need to apply the principles and measures in the SSD to secure our schools from other forms of common attacks, and ensure that our children and teachers enjoy safe learning environment.
IGIDE and CSACEFA Abia State therefore demand from the State Government to:
1. Plan toward domestication of the SSD and NPSSVFS.
2. Start sensitization/training of relevant Stakeholders in Education on the safety measures.
3. Build safe and inclusive learning environment.
4. Evacuate the military from and around the Schools. Their presence is an attack on Education because of its negative effects.
5. Beef up surveillance to dictate early warning signs of attack.
6. Access the UBEC fund to improve Education Development in Abia.