By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF), has said that an estimated 3 million children in the northeast are in need of emergency education support.
It added that 57 percent of schools remain closed in Borno State, the epicenter of Boko Haram crisis, in the northeast.
UNICEF in a statement issued by its Chief of Communication, Doune Porter said the organisation’s Executive Director, Justin Forsyth stated this at the end of three-day visit to Maiduguri.
“Children in northeast Nigeria are living through so much horror.
“In addition to devastating malnutrition, violence and an outbreak of cholera, the attacks on schools is in danger of creating a lost generation of children, threatening their and the countries future.”
The statement added that some children living in camps for the displaced in Borno state, are benefiting from education for the first time in their lives.
“In the Muna Garage camp on the outskirts of Maiduguri, for example, an estimated 90 per cent of students were enrolled in school for the first time.
“In the three most-affected states of northeast Nigeria, UNICEF and partners have enrolled nearly 750,000 children in school this year, establishing over 350 temporary learning spaces, and distributing almost 94,000 packs of learning material that will help children to get an education.”
The Organisation said it is also working with partners to rehabilitate schools and classrooms, as well as training teachers to build a stronger education system for the future.
“Since 2009, across the northeast, over 2,295 teachers have been killed and 19,000 have been displaced. Almost 1,400 schools have been destroyed with the majority unable to open because of extensive damage or because they are in areas that remain unsafe.
“To date, nearly 1 million children have been displaced by the crisis and 450,000 children under the age of five are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year. The use of children as human bombs – close to 100 so far this year – has sown a climate of mistrust among communities in the northeast, and a cholera outbreak has affected more than 3900 people, including over 2450 children.
“UNICEF’s life-saving emergency programmes in northeast Nigeria remain underfunded. With only three months left in the year, UNICEF has a 40 per cent finding gap in its needs for 2017”.