As the Nigerian military battle day and night to make Borno State safe for children to attend school, an internation non governmental organization Amnesty International has claimed that 15,000 students have been compelled to abandon schooling by Boko Haram.
The group also claimed that about 170 teachers have been murdered by Boko Haram since 2012, making teachers an endangered species.
Amnesty International claims are contained in a report captioned: “Keep Away From Schools or We’ll Kill You’: Education Under Attack in Nigeria”.
The group claimed that Boko Haram killer squads had led attacks on teachers and pupils, almost all schools in Bama, Baga, Jajeri, Umarari Garnam, Mai Malari, Mungono and Gamboru were forced to close between February 2012 and June 2013, the report stated.
They urged the Federal Government to raise the security levels around schools in the area.
Amnesty International said: “The Nigerian government is obliged, as part of its obligation under Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, ICESCR, to protect everybody’s right to education and to take measures that prevent third parties from interfering with the enjoyment of the right,”
According to the group, the Emergency rule has not reduced the violent attacks in the three states.
They argued: “Since the beginning of 2013, attacks appear to have become more brutal. They frequently happen when schools are occupied, and according to reports received by Amnesty International, teachers and pupils are now being directly targeted and killed.
In some attacks, teachers have been killed on school premises in full view of children. In others, school buildings have been set on fire and school property destroyed.
“Teachers in northern Borno were particularly at risk because many of the towns and communities were completely outside the control of the government. Even when some teachers continued to teach, they were constantly being monitored by the group. Members of the group will stand outside the classrooms to listen to the lessons. It was like teaching under gunpoint. The situation is worse for us who have received Western education and teach English in the public schools in northern Borno,” said H.H, a Bornu based teacher who was forced to flee after he was threatened by Boko Haram.
“Many school buildings remain destroyed, damaged and unused. When schools are burnt down, it is not only the classrooms that are lost, leaving children with nowhere to learn, but also all the teaching materials, equipment and school records. Some schools have been burnt down two or three times since 2012.”