THE EFFECTS OF BOKO HARAM INSURGENCY ON THE EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIAN STUDENTS
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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Education is under attack, as incidents of violence against students, teachers, union, schools and government officials are on the rise worldwide and in Nigeria in particular. Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, deliberate threat against students, academics, teachers and education facilities create barrier to accessing quality education for all. Education is a right, like the right to have proper food or roof over ones head. Article 26 of the 1996 universal declaration of human right states that, “everyone has the right to education”. Education is not only a right but passport to human development. It opens doors and expands opportunities and freedom. It contributes to fostering peace, democracy and economic growth as well as improving health and reducing poverty. The ultimate aim of education for all (EFA) is sustainable development. The education for all movement is a global commitment to provide quality education for all children, youth and adults. It aims to achieve six key education goals by 2015, which relates to: early childhood care, primary education, youth and adult learning, literacy, gender and education quality. In the year 2000, the world’s government adopted the six EFA goals and eight millennium development goals (MDGs), the two most important frameworks in the field of education. The education priorities of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are shaped by these objectives. The two sets of goals are an ambition roadmap for the global community including Nigeria to follow. They offer a long term vision or reduce poverty and hunger, better health and education, sustainable life styles, strong partnership and shared commitments. Considerable progress has been made since the world’s leaders committed to achieving education for all by 2015. Within the space of a decade, the number of out-of-school children has dropped by more than 38 million and the gender gap in formal education has been narrowed. Literacy rates have also increased, albeit slowly (EFA Global Monitoring Report, 2011).
The current Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria is threatening to halt or even reverse this progress. Education is under attack in northern Nigeria. Since the beginning of 2012, according to Amnesty International’s research, about 70 teachers and over 1000 school children have been killed or wounded. About 50 schools have either been burned or seriously damaged and more than 60 others have been forced to close. Thousands of children have been forced out of schools across communities in Yobe, Kaduna, Adamawa and Borno states. Many teachers have been forced to flee for their safety to other states. The highest number of attacks was in Borno state in the North-east. According to the Nigeria teachers’ union, more than 1000 teachers have been forced to flee from areas in the north since 2012. Based on this backdrop of adverse effect of Boko Haram on education for all (EFA) in Nigeria, one is inclined to ask the question; how can Nigeria at the peak of Boko Haram insurgency arrive at EFA objectives by 2015 barely seven months from now?