Boko Haram insurgency: about 530 teachers killed and 32,000 displaced
The Borno state teachers union have said that teachers were among the worst hit by the Boko Haram insurgency, with about 530 killed and 32,000 displaced.
Jibril Muhammed, chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) said this on Sunday in Maiduguri, the state capital.
He spoke against the backdrop of 40 mega schools constructed by the government to cater for the education of 53,000 children orphaned by Boko Haram insurgency in the state.
About 6,000 additional teachers are required to improve the quality of education in northeast Nigeria’s state of Borno, Mohamamed said.
This comes as Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) warns that attacks on Christians in Nigeria are on the rise.
“The government is building state of the art schools with a decent environment, but our teachers lack motivation”.
“It is my firm belief that with the necessary motivations for our teachers, the problems in our education sector will be solved.”
Borno state in northeast Nigeria has been devastated by the insurgency.
Muhammed said at least 5,000 teachers are required for primary schools while additional 1,000 be deployed to secondary schools to boost teaching and learning.
He commended the government for prioritizing education in the state but said it should also accord priority to teachers welfare.
Teachers are some of the lowest paid public sector employees in the oil-rich West African country.
About 27,000 people have been killed in Borno and two neighboring states since 2009, in one of the world’s most violent conflicts that have destroyed homes and infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Fr John Bakeni, who coordinates aid for internally displaced people (IDPs) in the Maiduguri Diocese in northern Nigeria, told ACN his concerns.
“The attacks on Christians are growing more flagrant and more aggressive”, he said.
“The ongoing conflict with Boko Haram and the attacks by predominantly Islamist Fulani shepherds have instilled a feeling of great uncertainty and fear in us Nigerians.
“We consider each day we live in safety a blessing, because we do not know what will happen the next day.”
Fr Bakeni added that it was “difficult to be a Christian in this part of the world, but our faith encourages us to bravely bear witness to the Gospel”.
He also criticised the Nigerian government’s efforts to stop the attacks by extremist groups.
“The state is not putting forth much effort when it comes to the protection and safety of the lives and property of Christians,” he said.
“We citizens, no matter whether we are Christians or Muslims, expect the state to protect us and ensure our safety.”
Boko Haram, the ISIS-aligned terrorist militia, has been waging a campaign in the West African region, murdering Christians, kidnapping young girls, and burning villages to the ground for more than a decade.
The number of its victims now stands in the tens of thousands since 2009.
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