• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Nigeria in crisis over ‘unholy marriage between insecurity and education’ – Report

From super tucanos to super solutions: Insecurity still a pain in Nigeria’s neck

A joint report on Nigeria’s worsening security issues and learning has highlighted the crisis resulting from the prevalent “unholy marriage between insecurity and education”.

The report by IA-Foundation and PSJ-UK, titled ‘Nigeria’s Illiteracy and Insecurity: An unholy marriage’, examines the chilling reality of insecurity’s stronghold on the Nigerian education sector. It was launched on Tuesday at the UK House of Parliament.

In proffering solutions to the rampaging insecurity and worsening education system in the country, the report recommends that Africa’s most populous country should embrace inclusive governance, invest in education infrastructure, and improve security to tackle this.

It said: “To effectively tackle the insecurity and education crises in Nigeria, a comprehensive approach is needed by both national and international actors.

“Recommendations include strengthening security, promoting inclusive governance, investing in education infrastructure, and enhancing access to quality education for all.”

The report explores how insecurity disrupts learning and leaves many children’s futures and the future of the nation in jeopardy. It also makes recommendations on ways to improve security and education.

It looks at issues like terrorism, kidnappings, and school closures fuelling the global record-breaking figure of 20.2 million out-of-school children in the country.

Ayo Adedoyin, chief executive officer at PSJ-UK, and Ibironke Adeagbo, founder and chief executive officer at IA-Foundation, said virtually every year since 2014, hundreds of innocent children in primary and secondary schools across the nation have been snatched away with their dreams held hostage for ransom.

They pointed out that children have become victims of a harrowing cycle of kidnapping and ransom demands.

The report represents the culmination of their collective efforts, a bold and unyielding attempt to shine a light on the pressing challenges faced by Nigerian students, educators, and communities alike.

They regretted that education, which is the cornerstone of a nation’s development, is under siege in Nigeria.

“Schools once regarded as safe havens for learning have become targets of violence and terror,” they said.

They pointed out that over the last 10 years, since the 2014 Chibok School girls’ abduction, Nigeria has been grappling with “a pervasive and deeply troubling phenomenon, the alarming escalation of insecurity within its education sector”.

They said: “Together in this report, we propose concrete recommendations aimed at safeguarding schools, restoring a sense of safety, and ensuring that every child in Nigeria has the chance to learn and thrive.

“The Nigerian people share the common and collective resolve to confront these challenges head-on and forge a safer, more secure future for all. The future of Nigeria hinges on the education of its youths. Let us not allow insecurity to steal their potential and their future.”

“By taking action, Nigeria, Nigerians, and friends of Nigeria can together build a brighter future for the giant of Africa.”

Wale Olaoye, group managing director of Halogen Security Nigeria, in his keynote during the report launch, said that to address insecurity in Nigeria, there is a need for a human security approach to educational policy, among others.

“To address insecurity in Nigeria, there is the need for a human security approach to educational policy and practice, that must recognise and attempt to enlarge the symbiotic relationship between education, cultures, environment and diverse social and economic struggles, alongside strong institutional mechanisms,” he said.

He added: “The overall philosophy of Nigeria education must be based on the development of the individual into a sound, productive and effective citizen who will contribute immensely to the development of the nation.

“However, for the education sector to pursue these goals, there must be a peaceful environment devoid of violence, killing and kidnapping.”

Olaoye said education must simultaneously provide maps of a complex world in constant turmoil and the compass that will enable people to find their way in it.

“Education must aim to unite us around collective endeavours and provide the knowledge, science, and innovation needed to shape sustainable futures for all anchored in social, economic, and environmental justice.”

It must redress past injustices while preparing us for environmental, technological, and social changes on the horizon in line with the UNESCO 2022 report, he said.

Citing a 2022 report on insecurity and education in Nigeria, he said there were an estimated 3.6 million internally displaced people from 2020-2023, 14,437 people were abducted and 16,558 deaths were recorded across Nigeria.