In a recent development to reopen schools, civil society organizations advocating for basic education for children, especially girls, have applauded the Zamfara State government for demonstrating its commitment to see that State children have access to education.
Connected Development [CODE] and YouthHubAfrica with the support from Malala Fund, had earlier expressed worry at the increasing spate of mass abductions carried out by acclaimed bandits in Northern Nigeria. The CSOs have continued to advocate for policy reforms to improve the girl child’s access to basic education in all states, including Zamfara.
Prior to school closure, children in Zamfara state were exposed to varying degrees of insecurity and violence, thereby inhibiting all forms of learning.
While the reopening of schools is a step in the right direction, it is important to highlight factors including insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic responsible for the setback in Nigeria’s education system. Its effect on schools across the country is glaring.
Hamzat Lawal, Chief Executive, Connected Development in his statement emphasized the need for safe learning.“Schools are meant to be safe places for children to learn and prepare them for the future. In recent times schools in Nigeria have been soft targets for perpetrators of violence, this should not be the case.”
Our approach has been to advocate for policy reforms and implementation that would improve access to education funds by state governments, ensure 12years of free, safe and quality education for every Nigerian child through the amendment of the Universal Basic Education Act”, Lawal added.
Rotimi Olawale, Executive Director of YouthHubAfrica, in his statement implored the government, citizens and education stakeholders to ensure that access to education is not negotiable. “Every day education activists take small but important steps to break down barriers preventing girls from completing their education.
“It is in this regard, CODE and YouthHubAfrica urges the Government of Zamfara to re-strategise its security infrastructure to ensure safer spaces for learning”, he concluded.