By Aliyu Dangida
“UNICEF has vows it’s intention towards providing psycho-social support training to 6,000 teachers in Jigawa and Kano states with funding from the EU in 2024,” the UNICEF Chief of Kano Field office, Mr Rahama Mohammed stated in an event to mark this year’s International Day of Education in Kano, while called for concerted efforts to enhance school safety in Nigeria.
Represented by Michael Banda, Senior Education Manager Kano field office, said the 2024 theme is “education for lasting peace, a very apt theme because Education was a driver of security, peace, and economic prosperity all over the world.
According to him, education can only take place in an atmosphere of peace adding that insecurity has emerged as one of the greatest threats to the development of education in Nigeria, especially in the North-West.
“We must therefore work hand in hand with the State and our community keep out schools safe,’’ Mohammed said.
He further said that UNICEF considered education as a driver of peace, security, and safety as provided in its implementation strategy of Safe Schools Declaration and the Minimum Standards on Safe Schools in Nigeria.
“Focusing on safe schools is important because education also promotes gender equity, economic prosperity, social cohesion, and social development,’’ he said.
The chief field Officer however, said the agency had supported 13 highest risk states to develop coasted safe school implementation plans through steering committees.
“UNICEF is also supporting the three states to develop evidence-based gender transformative, equity/disability inclusive and crisis/climate change resilient education sector plan.
“The organization also trained teachers on psychosocial support especially when schools are under threat or attacked,’’ UNICEF chief said.
Mohammed said that UNICEF had generated data for the implementation of the minimum standards in 6,000 schools in the Northwest.
Earlier, the state commissioner for education, Alhaji Umar Doguwa, said that the state government would invest heavily on education to cater for the students’ needs in the state.
According to him, the state government has set aside 29.7% of its 2024 budget to education as part of its efforts to revive the sector.
Some students who spoke at the occasion, have called for awareness campaign on safe school tips, climate change, school fencing and security.h
The theme of this year’s celebration is “Education for lasting peace’’, and International Day of Education is celebrated annually on 24 January.