President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, said over 12 million Nigerian children, mostly girls, are currently traumatised and afraid of going to school, as a result of the incessant attacks on the education system.
He said this in Abuja at the flag-off of the 4th International Conference on Safe Schools Declaration.
He said the abduction of pupils/students, increased activities of insurgence and general insecurity in schools had exacerbated factors responsible for the growing number of out-of-school children.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, Buhari said bandits, kidnappers and terrorists had invaded educational facilities at will to abduct the learners in large numbers in places like Chibok, Dapchi, Buni Yadi, Afaka, Kagora, and Jangebe in Borno, Yobe, Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara states respectively.
“It is disheartening to note that even when the abducted students are released, the trauma of the incidences remain long in their minds hence the plan to have teachers trained on psycho-social support,” he said.
Buhari said: “It has been tough dealing with these security challenges and their effects. Moving forward, our faith in the nation is unshaken.
“We have been strong, determined and robust in order to enhance the security of learning institutions and the occupants therein.”
Earlier, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said it was the first time the Conference on Safe Schools Declaration was being held on the African continent.