Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Boko Haram keeps a million children out of school: UNICEF

22 December 2015, 08:45

Lagos - The Boko Haram insurgency has kept more than one million children out of school, the UN children's agency reported on Tuesday, highlighting fears that a lack of education will fuel further radicalism in and around Nigeria.

Over 2 000 schools are closed across Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, while hundreds of others have been attacked, looted, or set on fire by Boko Haram jihadists in their quest to create an independent Islamic state, said UNICEF.

President Muhammadu Buhari has given his military commanders until the end of the month to end the Boko Haram insurgency, but even if victory is possible analysts say his government will have to contend with social turmoil stemming from a generation of children who have not gone to class.

"The longer they stay out of school, the greater the risks of being abused, abducted and recruited by armed groups," said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF regional director of West and Central Africa.

Also Read: Boko Haram suicide bombing kills six

Boko Haram fighters stormed a school in the remote northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok on April 14, 2014, seizing 276 girls who were preparing for end-of-year exams in an abduction that shocked the world.

Since starting to wage war on the Nigerian government in 2009, Boko Haram -- whose name means "Western education is forbidden" -- has targeted schools, students and teachers.

"It fulfils their initial mandate, which is to topple Nigeria's secular government and the Western tenants which underpinned that governance structure," said Ryan Cummings, security analyst at Red24, a risk consultancy firm.

Between bloody raids and incessant suicide bombings, Boko Haram has severely damaged what little infrastructure existed in Nigeria's impoverished northeast at a time when the commodity dependant country is facing a cash crunch thanks to plunging oil prices.

'Years to fix'

In the northeastern state of Borno, militants destroyed $1 billion (914 million euros) of infrastructure, including hospitals, bridges, roads and homes, reported Governor Kashim Shettima in September.

The amount of "funds required for the rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement of our people is so enormous," Shettima said.

Eradicating Boko Haram will not solve the education issue in the region, said Yan St-Pierre, terrorism analyst at Modern Security Consulting Group.

Also Read: UK bolsters training in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram

"There was already a problem with getting kids to school on a regular basis that simply became worse once Boko Haram emerged," said St-Pierre, speaking from Berlin.

"In so-called liberated areas it's been difficult to restore functioning infrastructure," said St-Pierre, "that's why we're talking about a generational problem now, the structural problems, the financial problems, this is going to take years to fix."

As the Nigerian military wins back territory in the country's northeast, some schools have been able to reopen, according to UNICEF, yet many are overcrowded and lack the necessary supplies for children to learn.

Other areas are still too unsafe to resume class, with Boko Haram threatening in December to mount mass abductions of students, according to Nigerian officials.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...