It is with utter shock and dismay that I learned about the suicide bombing attack on a school in Potiskum in the northern Nigerian state of Yobe that reportedly killed more than 40 students and injured many more. This violence against children, who were simply pursuing their human right to be educated is appalling and heartbreaking, and the perpetrators have to be brought to justice.
Such atrocities against both students and teachers have occurred far too frequently in Nigeria. According to the Watchlist of Children in Armed Conflict, almost 100 students, teachers and civilians have been killed in at least six attacks on schools since July 1, 2014.
It is the right of every child to get a free education, and it is the world’s obligation to ensure that schools are safe places – for students and teachers.
The Global Partnership for Education works with the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack to support efforts around the world that prevent violent attacks on education and improve protection.
As highlighted in previous statements by the GPE Board of Directors on the fatal attacks on a college in Nigeria on February 27, 2014, and on the abduction of Nigerian school girls in May 2014, the Global Partnership for Education is supporting programs and policies to protect education from violence, including prevention and response.
The Global Partnership is also advocating adherence to existing international law protecting education and the strengthening of international norms and standards.
Our thoughts are with the families of the innocent children who have been killed. The global community must unite to end violence against schools everywhere and protect every child’s right to an education.