Kenya: Calls persist to ‘bring back our girls’ and end attacks on schools
Find a way to end the violence aimed at students, teachers and schools was the stern message African educators made clear as they concluded the regional conference in Nairobi, Kenya.
The failure to bring home the more than 200 Nigerian school girls abducted last year continues to highlight not only the constant threat of extremists that many schools, students and teachers face across the African continent, but also the frustration of those seeking a solution.
As the delegates of Education International’s (EI) African Regional Conference brought the week-long event in Nairobi to a close, they rallied around the call of Ikpe J. Obong, General Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, to show a united response and release a series of measures aimed at tackling the violence against those who wish to pursue an education. The delegates stressed that more must be done to lobby governments to provide security to students, teachers and communities, in order to guarantee a quality learning environment.
Education International was asked to put in place measures to address the negative impact of insurgency and terrorist attacks on schools, teachers, and learners, and to engage with regional and global bodies to improve security in the countries where these attacks happen.
Educating above the fray of violence
With a renewed cause to fight for what matters, education unions, determined to continue fighting for quality education, justice, and peace in the continent, delegates passed a resolution on Insecurity, which deplored the current outbreak of violence by insurgents that is seriously impacting public schools in countries such as Nigeria, Cameroon, and Kenya.
The resolution stated that “There can be no effective teaching and learning in schools that are under the threat of terror, where teachers and learners are traumatised by the effect of the insurgency, the delegates stressed.”
Plenty to build on
Education International’s 8th African Regional Conference, which brought together more than 450 delegates and observers representing 52 countries, including 130 teachers and education workers’ organisations, from 4-6 February, also adopted resolutions on organising and uniting for quality education, higher education, communication and organising, and Francophone trade unions.