Nigeria: Boko Haram prevent one million children from going to school (UNICEF)

Nigeria: Boko Haram prevent one million children from going to school (UNICEF)

Violence and attacks against civilian populations in northeastern Nigeria and its neighboring countries have forced more than 1 million children out of school, UNICEF said today.

The number of children missing out on their education due to the conflict adds to the estimated 11 million children of primary school age who were already out of school in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger before the onset of the crisis.

“It’s a staggering number,” says Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF’s West and Central Africa Regional Director. “The conflict has been a huge blow for education in the region, and violence has kept many children out of the classroom for more than a year, putting them at risk of dropping out of school altogether.”

Across Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, over 2,000 schools remain closed due to the conflict – some of them for more than a year – and hundreds have been attacked, looted or set on fire. In far north Cameroon, only 1 out of the 135 schools closed in 2014 has re-opened this year.

In northeastern Nigeria UNICEF has supported 170,000 children back into education in the safer areas of the three states most affected by the conflict, where the majority of schools have been able to re-open. However, many classrooms are severely overcrowded as some school buildings are still being used to house the large numbers of displaced persons seeking shelter from the conflict. In these areas, some displaced teachers, who themselves have fled the fighting, are involved in the schooling and classes are often given on a “double shift” basis to help more children attend school.

Read more in www.unicef.org