UN says NE Nigeria drawn back by 70 years in education

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SHAFAQNA – Boko Haram insurgency has set back Nigeria’s northeast by at least 70 years in education development, killing 611 teachers and forcing an estimated 952,029 children to flee schools, the UN said Friday.

“As of 2015 in Nigeria, where Boko Haram has targeted education workers and students, at least 611 teachers had been deliberately killed and 19,000 forced to flee since 2009,” the UN said in a media advisory Friday ahead of public presentation on Monday of the 2016 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report in Nigeria.

The advisory, released to the media by a UN official Oluseyi Soremekun in the Nigerian capital Abuja, said up to 910 schools have been destroyed while 1,500 have been shut in the wake of the violence.

GEM report shows individual country’s progress in the attainment of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

It said the violence has dragged the northeast down the ladder in the push for the goal by at least 70 years, compared to other regions.

“On current trends, universal primary education in sub-Saharan Africa will be achieved in 2080, while universal lower secondary completion will be achieved in 2089,” the report said.

“The universal upper secondary completion will be achieved in 2099. This will leave the (northeast) region 70 years late for the 2030 SDGs deadline.”

UNICEF made similar observation last year December when it said Boko Haram-related violence and attacks on civilian population have forced more than a million children out of school across Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

The agency had said in a statement that the figure adds to the estimated 11 million children already out of school across the Lake Chad region.

“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 one out of the 135 schools closed in 2014 has re-opened this year,” the UNICEF said.

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