" ITREALMS: ‘Nigeria schools deliberately set on fire’ - ITREALMS

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Thursday, November 22, 2018

‘Nigeria schools deliberately set on fire’ - ITREALMS

An estimated 20 per cent of Nigerian schools are deliberately set on fire, says the latest United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports ITREALMS.

According to the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report summary made available to ITREALMS, UN noted that out of the estimated 260 school sites in Nigeria’s north-east, 20 per cent had been deliberately set on fire, which amounts to some 52 schools.

The report endorsed by chair  of GEM Hon. Helen Clark also reported that 28 per cent had been damaged by bullets, shells or shrapnel, 32 per cent had been looted and 29 per cent were in close proximity to armed groups or military.

ITREALMS also gathered that there are 19.9 million refugees under the protection of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), of whom about 52 per cent are under 18.

 “Around 39 per cent of refugees live in managed, self-settled or transit camps or collective centres, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of the rest live in individual accommodation in urban areas,” part of the summary showed.

The GEM summary which is on migration, displacement and education has as theme: Building Bridges, Not walls; showed that in many conflict-affected countries, internal displacement has strained already struggling education systems.

The report further posited that education has a role in preventing violent extremism, pointing out that whereas violent extremism, terrorist attacks and state and non-state civilian targeting undoubtedly directly cause migration and displacement, public opinion in high income countries has come to overemphasize the reverse, associating migration with terrorism.

“Yet any such relationship is very tenuous; attacks by foreigners represent a fraction of those by nationals and pathways to radicalization can take numerous forms. Preventing the emergence of extremism is a key line of defence against terrorism.

“Extremists tend to instrumentalize development challenges or exacerbate them to create and exploit a vicious circle of marginalization, particularly affecting the poorest and most vulnerable. By promoting respect for diversity, peace and economic advancement, education can be a buffer against radicalization.

“Violent extremists often see education as a threat and target schools for attacks, as with the Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria,” the GEM report stated.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE

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