Education is a fundamental human right and “an essential driver for achieving peace and sustainable development”, Secretary-General António Guterres underscored on Friday, the International Day to Protect Education from attack.
“Unfortunately, this right continues to fall under attack, especially in conflict-affected areas,” he said in a statement commemorating the day.
“Classrooms must remain places of peace and learning”.
According to the 2022 Education Under Attack report Unfortunately, in 2020 and 2021, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack reports over 5,000 attacks and cases of military use of schools and universities. More than 9,000 students and educators were killed, abducted, arbitrarily arrested, or injured. The majority of victims were women and girls.
Attacks must stop ‘immediately’
On the occasion of the International Day to Protect Education from Attack, an alliance of the six largest international NGOs working for and with children, and UNICEF, are calling on Sahelian governments, ECOWAS and the African Union to adopt specific policies and laws to better prevent and respond to attacks on schools in the Sahel.
While many parents are currently shopping for school supplies, hundreds of thousands of children will not be going back to school this year. In the Central Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin 11,100 schools are closed due to conflict or threats made against teachers and students. The number of attacks on schools in West and Central Africa more than doubled between 2019 and 2020. Many classrooms have been burned and some schools are occupied by armed groups or armed forces.
This post was originally published by the UN News Centre. Click here to read