By Egbe Attah
Following rising spate of insecurity, threatening all facets of Nigeria including schools, some stakeholders in the education sector have advised the Federal Government to do all it can to secure the nation’s educational institutions.
The Special Adviser on Secondary and Tertiary Education to the Benue State Governor, Chief Otse Otokpa, who spoke with The Voice in Otukpo, noted that the abduction of school children in Chibok and Kankara by insurgents, as well as the recent shutting down of schools in Abuja over security threat did not augur well for the country’s education sector.
The special adviser, who stated that effective teaching and learning could only take place in an atmosphere devoid of fear and chaos said Nigeria would not attain any form of development if the activities of the bandits are left unchecked.
According to him, teaching and learning can only be effective in an atmosphere of security. No one will teach or learn in a war- torn zone or place where fear for one’s life holds sway.
He added that if the younger generation is thrown out of school over security threat, there wont be any future for the nation.
Otokpa observed that the recent statement by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), that “Nigeria currently has about 18.5 million out-of-school children” is largely attributed to the activities of insurgents, adding that Benue is a case in point.
Also speaking, a veteran teacher, Chief Icha Adole, lamented the impact of rising insecurity on the education sector.
He maintained that apart from kidnapping, family displacement, destruction of school structures, most schools have been turned to internal displaced camps thereby disrupting school activities, even in areas outside the reach of such crisis.
On his part, an academic, Dr Umar Ajape, said to save the future of Nigerian children and fast-track development of the nation, educational institutions needed to be secure from all forms of banditry and disturbances.
He however, advised that the duty of securing schools should be the responsible of all, even as he decried the extension of the ongoing strike in Nigerian universities by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“Apart from insecurity, the constant and perennial industrial action as is currently embarked upon by ASUU is also killing the education industry in the country,” Ajape asserted.