The United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF), has said at least one million, among more than 37 school children in Nigeria, are afraid to return to school as schools resume.
The fears by the children to return to schools, the agency said, is a result of insecurity in the country, especially abductions that had taken place in various schools in some parts so far.
UNICEF, in a statement issued yesterday by its Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, said it was “joining in a global ‘digital freeze’ on 16 September to protest children unable to access the classroom due to Covid-19 restrictions or other challenges, with social media platforms ‘frozen’ to draw attention to how many children are at risk of missing out on an education.”.
The organisation estimates that a return to school has been delayed for an estimated 140 million children globally due to Covid-19.
According to UNICEF, “It is unacceptable that communities should be worried to send their children to school over fears they will be abducted from what should be a safe space”.
” It is unacceptable that children need to fear returning to their friends and classrooms – and that parents are afraid that if they send their children to school, they may never return. This insecurity must end so that children can return to their normal lives and benefit from all the important things being in school brings to them”, it said.
The organisation estimates that a return to school has been delayed for an estimated 140 million children globally due to Covid-19”, it further said.
UNICEF noted that “So far this year, there have been 20 attacks on schools in Nigeria, with 1,436 children abducted and 16 children dead. More than 200 children are still missing”.