Nigeria’s Education Minister Adamu Adamu on Wednesday called for the protection of learning institutions, and the release of abducted students and teachers, according to a press release by the ministry.

Adamu’s call comes as the UN has marked the first International Day to Protect Education from Attack.

“While acknowledging that schools and other learning facilities in different locations in the country had over the years been subjected to attacks by parties in conflicts and communal clashes especially Boko Haram, Bandits, thugs and unknown individuals and groups, the Minister admonished that there is a need for all stakeholders to appreciate and observe the sanctity of learning centers,” a statement by the Federal Ministry of Education read.

Adamu “decried the abduction of CHIBOK GIRLS, Leah Sharibu and other Learners and teachers at places of learning (…) and called for their immediate release by their abductors,” read the statement.

The minister added that his government is committed to and is working on developing enforceable guidelines that would ensure the protection of schools as well as other learning institutions from attacks “by opposing armed groups and limit the disruption to students’ learning,” according to the statement.

The International Day to Protect Education from Attack is celebrated for the first time this year. According to the UN’s website, it “draws attention to the plight of more than 75 million 3-to-18-year-olds living in 35 crisis-affected countries and to their urgent need of educational support.”

The day also “expresses concern over the effects of continued violence on these children and their ability to access education, whose consequences require special attention beyond the needs of learners whose establishments were temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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