Doha, 14 December 2020 – Education Above All (EAA) Foundation strongly condemns the armed raid on a secondary school in Katsina, Nigeria on Friday evening, which left hundreds of students missing. EAA calls on the urgent need for nations to unite to protect education from attack, to ensure that the fundamental human right of access to safe, quality education is secured.
On 11 December, armed gunmen targeted the Government Science Secondary School in Katsina, where more than 800 students are said to reside. Security personnel at the school managed to repel some of the attackers before police reinforcements arrived. In a statement on Saturday, police said that during an exchange of fire, some of the gunmen were forced to retreat. Students were able to scale the fence of the school and run to safety.
Mubarak Al Thani, Head of Advocacy at EAA, commented: “The recent attack in Nigeria must act as a rallying cry to the international community to protect education. No matter the scale of destruction, each attack reminds us of the importance that lies in protecting the next generation's right to education as the single most effective means of creating prosperous, peaceful and just societies.”
Despite the devastating multitude of attacks on education, and while UN bodies have given increased attention to attacks on education, attacks continue without accountability.
According to the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), there were 11,000 reports of attacks on education worldwide in the last five years – 7,000 of which were deliberate. In total, 22,000 students, teachers, and education personnel were harmed.
On 9 September 2020, EAA commemorated the inaugural UN International Day to Protect Education from Attack by bringing together world leaders, campaigners, artists and global activists during a high-level virtual event to address the need for immediate action to protect education from attack, strengthen economies, and ultimately build peace.
Earlier this year, continuous efforts from Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of EAA and UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, led to the adoption of UN General Assembly resolution (A/RES/74/275) to organise this day.
EAA also launched the #UniteToProtect campaign to create ongoing global awareness of the need to protect the future of our next generations by ceasing all attacks on education so that the right to safe, quality education is guaranteed for every child.