Attack on education in NigeriaPosted by I Take Actions Admin in Education in Nigeria, 09 Oct 2021 20:31
Since 2009, the Nigerian Government has been embroiled in an armed conflict with the Islamist insurgency group Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’Awati Wal-Jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram. The rebels have killed over 20,000 people and displaced over 2.2 million in the wider Lake Chad region.
Boko Haram’s ideology is particularly hostile toward secular education, repeatedly targeting schools and universities and teachers and administrators that support an already fragile education system. Thousands of young girls have been kidnapped, some even from schools and abused in captivity. Young boys have been taken, harmed, and raised to become child fighters.
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, one in every five of the world’s out-of-school children was in Nigeria. Although primary education is officially free and compulsory, about 10.5 million children aged 5-14 years are out of the classroom. Only 61 percent of 6–11-year-olds regularly attend primary school, and only 35.6 percent of children aged 36-59 months receive early childhood education.
The situation is even bleaker in the northeast and northwestern regions, where bloody confrontations have raged between soldiers and rebels for almost a decade. UNICEF estimates that more than 1,400 schools, mostly based in the northeast, have been destroyed or looted, and more than 600,000 children have lost access to education. In these areas, more than half of the girl population are not in school because of poverty and issues on security.
Thus, the call for government prioritization of the education sector in Nigeria remains at an all-time high, even amid and especially because of problems aggravated by the pandemic. In 2020, only 6.7 percent of the national budget was allocated for education, far below UNESCO’s recommended 15 to 26 percent. Corruption remains rampant and, without due support on curriculum and faculty upskilling, Nigeria’s system may continue to lag compared to the rest of Africa and the world.