Day of African Child: Change tactics in securing school children, university don tasks government at all levels

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Students and other participants in a group photograph at the end of the programme 

By Akanji Alowolodu, Gombe

As the spate of abduction of students by armed bandits across the country continue to increase, Governments across the country have been tasked to as a matter of urgency change tactics in securing school children who have become high targets by the armed bandits and kidnappers while in their various boarding schools. 
The call was made by Dr. Umar Adamu, a lecturer with the Gombe State University, who decried the consistency in which these attacks have been going on without any solution saying that the situation is so alarming and posing a serious threat to the development of the country in general.
Umar Adamu who was speaking when he presented a paper on ‘Education, Development and Security’ at the commemoration of the 2021 Day of the African Child organized by Save the Children International, held in Gombe on Thursday.
According to him, the rate of kidnapping of children is so alarming to the extent that parents are afraid of sending their children to schools while the children on the other hand are scared of going to schools for fear of being kidnapped or eventually killed.
He said, “the situation is getting out of hand and that is why we are always calling on Government to change their style in the area of providing security in the school environment”.
The University Don called on the Gombe State Government to take proactive measures saying, “security measures must be tightened considering what is happening with our neighbours”.
He said that Nigeria can only be assured of the future of it’s children and the country in general if the learning environment is secured for children adding that, “Government must also deploy all the necessary and relevant facilities and materials in schools”.
In his words, “in the past, the schooling system was very conducive. But now, because of the increase in population, Government is not doing much to expand by building more schools, classrooms, providing learning materials and also recruiting more qualified teachers and improve on their welfare”.
Umar Adamu added that, “The teaching profession needs to be attractive, but if you look at the way teachers are being treated by Government now, it has discouraged people from joining the teaching profession because of the negligence”.
Earlier, Advocacy Coordinator of Save the Children in Gombe, Mr. Akpan Effiong, said the 2021 International Day of the African Child has the theme, ” 30 years after the adoption of the Charter: accelerate implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children “.
He said that, the day of the African child is being celebrated with a call for serious reflections and commitment towards addressing the numerous challenges facing children across African.
According to him, the celebration should be a build up to the realization of the rights of children from the family, community level and up to national and international levels.
He said, Agenda 2040 provides a child centred focus based on the African Union’s Agenda 2063 which highlights children’s rights and welfare concerns in paragraph 53.
The celebration witnessed participation of children from several schools across the State with key advocacy messages centred on promotion, protection and provision of the rights of children; protection of children from violence, exploitation, neglect and abuse; domestication of Child right law as well as the rights of the girl child to access quality basic education in a safe environment up to Senior Secondary level.

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