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“Western Education is Forbidden”

Boko Haram is an Islamic group based in Nigeria, known as the world’s deadliest terrorist group, emerged in 2009. Since 2009 Boko Haram has abducted thousands of children, have looted, destroyed many schools and colleges in Nigeria, because they believe that western education is sinful and they want to create Nigeria an Islamic state. Boko Haram means “Western Education is Forbidden”. Boko Haram has affected the education of a lot of children in Nigeria, be it girls or boys. They have stripped the right of education from these children. Nigeria currently has 20 million out of school children, 13.2 million children out of this are victims of Boko Haram’s activities in Nigeria, making it the highest in the world. Not only this Boko Haram has kidnapped hundreds of school going girls and boys, so they can’t get the education they deserve. The girls that were kidnapped were forcibly converted to Islam and were married off to the Boko Haram members; they were never given back to their parents. The boys that were kidnapped were forced to become child soldiers and members of Boko Haram group; they were forced to use weapons at such a young age. Boko Haram has also used children, be it boys or girls as “human Bombs” to attack schools in Nigeria. This is just heartbreaking to see that children in Nigeria have to go through so much pain and suffering and have to be in constant fear and agony. Not only this Boko Haram, has killed an estimated 2,295 teachers, and over 19,000 teachers have been displaced by the conflict. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that more than 1,400 schools have been destroyed, and more than 600,000 children have lost access to education.

I am sharing a YouTube video which explains how Boko Haram conflict has led to kids being out of school, the video explains in detail what goes on in children’s mind and how they survived the horrific attacks of Boko Haram.

The violence perpetuated by Boko Haram has led to many Nigerian families fleeing Nigeria and moving to other parts of the world because they fear their children will remain uneducated and will be abducted. Moreover, the fear that Boko Haram has caused has also affected the mental well-being of the children in Nigeria, where they go through trauma and constant fear of getting abducted, where only going to school and studying seems like an immense struggle and a big challenge.

What are your thoughts on groups like Boko Haram, and how can they be stopped from affecting children’s education?

Figures taken from:

“I will never go back to school”: The impact of attacks on education for Nigerian women and girls - summary - nigeria. ReliefWeb. (2018a, October 11).

Owolabi, T. J. (2021, January 6). Chapter 14 Boko Haram terrorism and out-of-school children in North East Nigeria. Brill.

#education #conflict

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