Children have been out of school for nearly 10 years
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said Monday that it is providing over 300,000 children and youths in Nigeria’s volatile northeast who were forced out of their communities and schools following terrorist attacks with access to a special learning program.
Paola Ripamonti, UNICEF education manager at its Maiduguri Field Office, said at a press conference organized by the Borno state government in collaboration with UNICEF that the European Union-backed program was aimed at returning the children and youths to school through formal and informal education after having been away from the classroom for nearly a decade.
Ripamonti said that among them are 20,104 out-of-school children (53% girls) who now access informal learning classes and 16,630 children (52% girls) who transitioned into the formal education system.
She said the EU-backed program is also helping children and youths who are victims of terrorism to receive psycho-social support and training through the Response, Recovery and Resilience project.
Three million people have been displaced in the country’s northeast since 2009, when the terrorist attacks started, and more than 800,000 children were forced out of schools in the wake of the violence, according to a UNICEF report.
The children live with their parents or guardians at refugee camps in the neighboring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon, while others stay at Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the region, where they receive schooling through an education program from UNICEF and other international partners.
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