THE Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA) has expressed displeasure at the closure of unity schools across the country. The National Moderator of CSACEFA, Mr Sale Abdullahi said this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
Abdullahi said that Nigerian children had witnessed horrific moments in the heat of attacks on learning facilities across the country arising from the activities of bandits.
“The past weeks have witnessed waves of school closures across the country, both secondary and tertiary.
“Bandits have made good their threats of holding the nation to ransom as they continue with their nefarious acts unchallenged.
“Since the Chibok incident in 2014, where over 276 students were abducted in the North East region, the crisis has fast spread to the North West and North Central regions through countless other attacks on soft targets,” he said.
Abdullahi said that the bandits were demanding huge ransoms and in some cases killing the innocent victims who should be in the safe custody of their guardians or parents with government making promises of securing their release albeit to no effect.
“According to United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) as of today, over 11,536 schools are closed with over 1,500 pupils abducted. This is reprehensible and a brutal violation of the rights of the Nigerian child to education.
“We are also worried that this learning crisis will affect the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as there is steady decline in enrollment and retention,” he said.
He urged the government to remember its social contract with Nigerian parents and students as its cardinal points of their campaign.
Abdullahi also urged that concerted efforts in securing the release in the shortest time possible of those children in captivity be made.
He said that if nothing was done to address the menace, Nigeria would in the near future lose credibility in the comity of nations because the certificates produced would be contested knowing the plethora of interruptions in the school calendar within the period.
According to him, the consequences of the closure of schools, postponing examinations and sense of insecurity have psychological effects with lasting effects.
Abdullahi however, called on the government to bring the perpetrators to book. (NAN)