The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has lamented that the mass kidnappings of schoolchildren, especially girls in Nigeria, pose a serious threat to the future of children and the development of education in the country.
The organization said efforts must be stepped up by federal and state governments to protect learning facilities and child welfare in the country given the growing wave of kidnappings and other issues of security.
UNICEF Field Office Chief Kano Maulid Warfa who said this during the signing of the Pledge for Continuation of the Girls’ Education Project (GEP3) by Emir of Daura, Dr Umar Farouq Umar, at his palace, said the kidnapping of schoolchildren is a worrying development in the education sector.
The GEP 3 program, funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), is implemented by UNICEF in six northern states of Katsina, Bauchi, Niger, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kano to support the enrollment, retention and transition of girls. at school.
He urged traditional institutions to facilitate the protection of children in schools and their homes as well as to support government at all levels to ensure that educational institutions are protected from kidnappings and other harmful activities orchestrated by thugs. in the country.
He said: âThe education of our children faces very serious challenges, including the mass abduction of boys and girls. The mass kidnapping of schoolchildren is something that worries us all and as UNICEF we have condemned this act.
“Children are the future of the country, they need their rights to be respected, they need their education to be assured. Therefore, we have urged federal and state governments, communities, parents and all supporters to ensuring the safety and well-being of children at school, at home, in the market and everywhere. “
However, he said that 330,000 girls have been enrolled in public primary schools and 550,000 boys have benefited from various social intervention programs of UNICEF through its GEP 3 project in the state.
Duara’s Emir Dr Umar, while responding, pledged to put in place proactive measures to ensure the sustainability of GEP3 and other notable UNICEF programs in the state that would improve enrollment and retention. children, especially girls in schools.
In the meantime, the same pledge has also been endorsed by Kaura Katsina, Alhaji Nuhu Abdulkadir, on behalf of the Emir of Katsina, Dr Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, where he assured UNICEF of the emirate’s unwavering support.