The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has appealed to armed groups holding abducted students and teachers to release the captives, who he described as innocent casualties of armed insurgency. He made the appeal in a statement commemorating the first International Day for the Protection of Education from Attack, made available to newsmen by the Director Press and Public Relations Unit of the ministry, Bem Goong, yesterday in Abuja.
He decried the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls, Leah Sharibu, other learners and teachers at places of learning, saying it was an infringement on their rights to quality education. Adamu, who called on communities to take ownership of the protection of schools in their environments as first point of contacts and first-line responders in the event of attack.
He also urged security agencies to further make more commitments and efforts at ensuring the safety of schools and learning centres. According to him, the Federal Government was committed to ensuring a safe learning environment as it believes in the protection of schools and learning centres nationwide from violence and all forms of attacks. While stating that Nigeria was committed to observing all existing international protocols on education and freedom of learning as well as child rights to quality education in a protective environment, the minister said most existing global and continental instruments on education and child rights had been domesticated at the national level, while others had been integrated into national laws and policies.
The statement reads in part: “As a nation, we are committed to observing all relevant international conventions for the protection of schools and learning centres and facilities from attack. “We recognize the interdependencies of several conventions, treaties and other instruments that would make this possible, the minister reiterated.”