The Honourable Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu has commended the United Nation’s Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for its tremendous support to humanitarian services in the North-East geo-political zone, especially in the lives of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s).
The Minister made the commendation when the Chief Education Officer of the organization, Mr. Terry Dunmian paid him a courtesy visit in his office on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 to present the overview of the plan for year 2018.
Adamu acknowledged UNICEF for all its services in Nigeria and stressed the need to focus on “out of school children” as well as those in school to foster their education. He then urged UNICEF to continue to work with the State Government to reduce the rate of out- of- school children in Nigeria.
Terry Dunmian said that the humanitarian need of the affected population in North-East Nigeria is a tragic situation demanding systematic targeting of education outcomes.
The deliberate targeting of schools, he said, began in 2009 and has been intensified. He noted also that disruption to learning had been severe; all schools have been burnt and looted, with Borno state being the worst affected, losing about 635 out of 1,359 by 2016. All schools in the North East states were closed from November 2014 – June 2015. By August 2017, an estimated 57% of schools remained closed in Borno, as well as 3% in Yobe”, he said.
Speaking further, he said an estimated 2.9 million conflict-affected children are in need as they are deprived of quality education or have access to education.
Terry added that even with on-going supply of teaching and learning materials, and the construction/rehabilitation of classrooms remains a priority, with 249 million USD worth of education infrastructure reported, damaged in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe as at 2016. The UNICEF representative observed that there is need for Psychosocial Support (PSS) interventions and training for teaching staff as well as support in identifying and contracting teachers where there are shortages.
He recalled that, Nigeria Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) was launched in November 2016 and the education sector requested for US$1,054 million from United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) to enable life saving assistance and prevent further hardship.
The United Nations Office in Nigeria, he disclosed has approved the provision of US$1,000,000 for Education sector priority need for the provision of safe learning spaces for children, including appropriate wash facilities and school supplies.
Mrs C.P. Ihuoma, mni
Director (Press & PR)