Nigeria: Over 600 schools closed due to surge in kidnappings, attacks by armed gangs

Nigerian schools are back to track this month, but still over 600 schools are closed due to a surge in kidnappings and attacks by armed gangs. The following information has been shared by the authorities.

Nigerian schools are back to track this month, but still over 600 schools are closed due to a surge in kidnappings and attacks by armed gangs. The following information has been shared by the authorities.

In the town of Sabo, south of Kaduna state, a group of school children are united by a common threat: armed conflict. Majority of the children arrived at this temporary shelter with their parents last November, after armed gangs overran their villages.

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Meanwhile, one resident, Abayo Iliya said it was the last time his 6-year-old son attended school.

Iliya said his village was attacked, and their homes, farms and the school were burned. Iliya’s son’s school has since been closed.

Iliya’s wife, Alheri, said that they would like to enroll their son in a safer school but cannot afford it. They lost everything, she said, so they don’t have the money to go to another school.

This month, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, better called as the UNESCO, reported that more than 20 million Nigerian children are out of school, up nearly 2 million compared with a similar survey which was announced by UNICEF in May.

But authorities of Nigeria discusses about the figures, stating that the situation has imporved and that the government has been spending much more on education.

Moreover, authorities have added that UNESCO’s estimates did not capture the number of children attending unconventional schools in northern region of Nigeria.

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But Abdulsalami Ladigbolu, the head of UNESCO’s Read and Earn Federation in Nigeria, said many factors that contribute to the problem were considered before publishing the report.

“It’s a complex situation. Really, insurgency can be part of it. Secondly, the death of their parents or guardian responsible for tuition. Another factor we can consider is early marriage,” Ladigbolu said, adding that that issue is specific to girls.

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