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Majors to Ensure Safe Schools in Nigeria

The UN General Assembly Proclaimed 9th September as the International Day to Protect Education from Attack. Adopting the resolution reaffirms the right to education for all and the importance of ensuring safe and enabling learning environment.

The Nigeria Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in New York announced that Nigeria will host the 4th International Conference on Safe Schools in 2021.

This would be the first States meeting on the Declaration in Africa bringing together leaders from around the world to share good practices in protecting education from attack.

It has been acknowledge that observance of the International Day for the Protection of Education from Attack provides a galvanizing moments for States and humanitarian communities to foster financial and political resources on strengthening the protection of education each year.

Objectives of Safe School Declaration (SSD)

Speaking with a member of the Education Emergency Working Group in Nigeria Mrs. Comfort Umuahi on Radio Nigeria, the Group disclosed that the International Day for the Protection of Education from Attack and the Safe School Declaration (SSD) seek to protect education from attack and it is very timely because in recent times we have had increase of attacks on education in Nigeria.

“From March 2020 till date over 1500 students, teachers and education personnel’s have been adopted from schools in Nigeria and out of these number about sixteen of them have unfortunately lost their lives.”

Nigeria is one of the countries that endorsed the Safe School Declaration in 2015. It is a political commitment by member States to keep schools safe and protected from attacks by armed forces and armed groups as well as restrict military use of educational infrastructure.

How Education Emergency Working Group Help to Address the Problem of Education Attacks in Nigeria

The Education Emergency Working Group has supported the Federal Ministry of Education in many ways to help address the problems of education attacks in Nigeria.

The group is made up of different partners including Plan International Nigeria and has supported the Government to develop policies and minimum standards to protect education from attack.

One of the policy is the National Policy on Safety Security and Violence Free School. This policy was recently approved by the National Council on Education. The policy has helped in the following ways:

  1. Set a standard for implementing comprehensive school safety plans,
  2. Provides prevention and quick response mechanism at the National State and Local Government levels and even at individual school level.
  3. And also set the minimum standard for school safety.

All of these provides inbuilt system to ensure that attacks are mitigated and prevented in schools.

So what is left now is for the Government to begin to use these policies that are in place, implement them to ensure that children learn in a safe and protected environment.

The Difference between Safe School Declaration (SSD) and the Safe School Initiative (SSI)?

The Safe School Initiative (SSI) is a project that was conceived to target only the Northeast to ensure that Children who are at the schools that have been attacked especially after the Chibok School Girls were adopted in 2015, are moved from the conflict area to safer place where they can learn.

While Safe School Declaration (SSD) is a global program for the whole Nation and the world at large and it is as a result of the Safe School Declaration that Nigeria has been given the right to host the Safe School Conference which would come up on 25th to 27th October 2021 which is aimed at ensuring safe schools starting from government commitment to reality.

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