BASHIRU ADEWUNMI AGUNLOYE
The importance of education in any society, Nigeria inclusive, cannot be over emphasized. Education serves as a platform to impart knowledge and skills to make mankind a rational animal. Without Education humans they say “would not be rational to be able to differentiate between the rights and wrongs”.
Therefore, it is evident that the “purpose of education is to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed and reasonable decisions,” said Christine Howe.
But education system in the North East Nigeria has been in devastated state for nearly ten years now. This is as a result of armed conflict created by the Nigerian version of Islamic State of Iran and Syria (ISIS) known as Boko Haram.
Since year 2009 till date, the notorious Boko Haram terrorist group has continuously prevented children of school age in the states such as Borno, Yobe and Adamawa access to education.
Many children from the above mentioned states and other parts of the northern Nigeria are out of schools as a result of evil activities of Boko Haram. This situation is a disaster not only in the affected area but Nigeria at large.
Several students and teachers were killed or injured and schools razed. Evidences of these incidents include but not limited to Boko Haram attacked in September, 2013 of a School of Agriculture in Yobe where more than 60 students were killed.
Reports have it that more than 900 schools have been destroyed in the North East Nigeria between 2009 and 2015; and about 1,500 schools forced to close. Among the notable schools destroyed by the insurgents is Yerwa Primary School, Maiduguri in 2010 and 2013. The school noted to be the first primary school in the North East Nigeria was established in 1915.
Another attack on Zanna Mobarti Primary School in Damasak, Borno in 2014 recorded abduction of an estimated 300 students. In April 2014, no fewer than 276 school girls in Chibok, Borno state were abducted. The list are too numerous to be mentioned.
It has been evidence also that some schools have been converted by government security forces for military purposes.
As of late 2017, United Nation Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian (UNOCH) reported that an estimated 700,000 school age children are among the Internally Displaced Persons , as a result of violent attacks on civilians by Boko Haram, which began in 2009.
Also, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reports that Boko Haram has killed a total of 2,300 teachers in the North East Nigeria since 2009. While the 2018 UNESCO global education monitoring report (GEM), a United Nations agency said about 19,000 teachers have been displaced in the region, and it is affecting access to education.
The series of insurgents attacked in the North East Nigeria has dramatically affected hundreds of thousands of school children at all levels of education, and thousands of teachers and education administrators also affected.
The notorious activities of the Boko Haram insurgency that has already caused a catastrophic destruction on the education system of the whole North East Nigeria whereby many school destroyed, students and teachers lives lost is a concerns that need urgent intervention by the government.
All the attacks on the schools by the insurgency make one to wonder where the insurgents derived their doctrine from because Islam that Boko Haram sect claimed they are fighting for accorded more importance to education because the first word that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad, according to the Qur’an (Holy Book of Muslim), verse 96:1-5, was “Iqra” which means “to read , to seek knowledge, to be educated”.
Also Prophet Muhammad said: “Acquiring knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim”. With the above mentioned evidences, Boko Haram is a self doctrine rascal group, an uproot of devil or devil incarnate in Islamic religion.
The destruction of schools, killings of hundreds of thousands of teachers and students coupled with poor remunerations have resulted to shortage of qualified teachers in the North East Nigeria which has totally collapsed the education system in the region.
Professor Babatunde Fafunwa, former Minister of Education, described education as the aggregate of all processes through which a child develops abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviour which are of a positive value to society. Education enables individuals to acquire appropriate knowledge, values and skills for personal development and also contributes meaningfully to the development of society.
Education was declared a basic human right for every individual in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
But the situation of education in the North East Nigeria states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa is in comatose since 2009 when Boko Haram insurgency started because the attacks were targetted at school children, teachers, schools and other education facilities and these have dealt a big blow on the education system of the region.
To address this ugly situation, all hands must be on deck to safeguard the future of these school children and education in the North East Nigeria now.
.Agunloye could be reached via ([email protected])
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