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Safety of Nigerian learners demanded

09 July 2013, 07:37Augustine Osayande

Abuja - International human rights group, Amnesty International, urged the Nigerian Government to ensure the safety of children at schools amid the death of more than 40 learners at a school in Yobe State.

“The protection of children’s lives is paramount, and the Nigerian government has a duty to ensure that the country’s educational sector is not further threatened by the killing and intimidation of students and teachers and the destruction of school buildings," the organisation's Group Deputy Director for Africa, Lucy Freeman, said in Abuja.

Secondary schools in Yobe State have been shut down following the attack on a Government Secondary School in Mamudo, near Potiskum, in which suspected members of Boko Haram killed 42 students and a teacher.

“Such attacks violate the right to life and undermine the right to education of thousands of children in northern Nigeria. They must stop immediately.

"The Nigerian authorities must investigate these attacks and bring those responsible to justice in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty," Freeman added.

The destruction and damage of school infrastructure and facilities, Freeman said, grossly reduces the availability and access to education for many children in northern Nigeria where sectarian violence continues.

“When education institutions are targeted or attacked, the damage and resultant consequences can be major and far-reaching.

"Access to basic education in a country where education is mostly seen as a privilege, requires that proper structures and services are in place and that students can access adequate books and materials," Freeman said.

The Nigerian government is obliged under the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of Children to take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools.

- CAJ News



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