Over 1 Million Children Afraid of Returning to School In Nigeria

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) says at least one million children will likely stay away from school because of the threat of violence, following a series of mass kidnappings and attacks targeting learners in 2021 alone. More than 1,000 learners have been taken for ransom by criminal gangs in Nigeria's northwest and central states since December 2020. Most have been released after ransom negotiations, but only after weeks or months in captivity, often in appalling conditions in rural camps.

According to UNICEF, more than 37 million Nigerian children will start the new school year in September 2021 but many are being cut off from their education and other vital benefits schools provide, as families and communities remain fearful of sending their children back.

Some state governments have temporarily closed schools to protect learners.

 

InFocus

(file photo).

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