By Segun James
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has said Boko Haram has killed 2,300 teachers in the North-east since the start of the insurgency in 2009.
In the 2018 UNESCO global education monitoring report (GEM), the UN agency said 19,000 teachers have been displaced in the region, affecting access to education.
“In north-eastern Nigeria, as of late 2017, there were 1.6 million IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons), including an estimated 700,000 school-age children, as a result of violent attacks on civilians by Boko Haram, which began in 2009 (UNOCHA, 2017b),” said the report.
“Boko Haram has destroyed nearly 1,000 schools and displaced 19,000 teachers (HRW, 2016). Reports indicated it had killed almost 2,300 teachers by 2017 (UNOCHA, 2017a).
“The latest education needs assessment found that out of 260 school sites, 28 per cent had been damaged by bullets, shells or shrapnel, 20 per cent had been deliberately set on fire, 32 per cent had been looted and 29 per cent had armed groups or military in close proximity.”
UNESCO decried the shortage of qualified teachers in the zone, citing security and poor remuneration as reasons the teachers are emigrating from the region.
“Ongoing safety concerns, coupled with teacher salaries that do not cover even basic expenses and delays in payment, perpetuate a shortage of qualified teachers,” UNESCO said, adding that “most of those who remain work on a voluntary basis”.
The report, according to TheCable, also revealed that there is a shortage of teachers in the Almajiri school system, predominant in northern Nigeria.
“In the almajiri system, a teacher can be responsible for up to 100 students, predominantly poor boys who often end up on the street begging for alms,” the report added.