Nigerian Schools in Crisis: UNICEF Calls for Urgent Renovation

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) drew attention to the grim reality of many Nigerian schools, noting that a large number of students are compelled to study outdoors due to insufficient infrastructure. UNICEF underscored the powerful influence community advocacy can have on enhancing educational facilities.

Nigerian Schools in Crisis: UNICEF Calls for Urgent Renovation

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has urged Nigerian communities to actively lobby their governments to renovate deteriorating school buildings and erect new ones for primary and secondary education.

This call to action was made by Cristian Munduate, UNICEF’s representative in Nigeria.

Munduate underscored the powerful influence community advocacy can have on enhancing educational facilities. She stated, “When communities actively voiced their concerns and demands for better educational facilities and opportunities, policymakers and authorities were more likely to take action.”

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She drew attention to the grim reality of many Nigerian schools, noting that a large number of students are compelled to study outdoors due to insufficient infrastructure. The decaying state of school buildings throughout Nigeria has left numerous students without suitable classrooms, severely affecting their education.

“Community pressure can drive demand for education,” Ms. Munduate added. “Strengthening citizenship is vital. People must advocate for essentials like education, health, and water, not just for other amenities.”

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Mike Ike-Ene, the Secretary-General of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, supplemented this by outlining the negative impacts of substandard school infrastructure on students. He observed that the dilapidated condition of many schools could create an unfriendly learning environment.

Ike-Ene contended that these harsh conditions not only present physical dangers but also impact the psychological health of the children. He said, “When children study in such harsh conditions, it hardens them. It doesn’t make them environmentally conscious; rather, they see themselves as coming from hostile environments.”

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Both UNICEF and the Nigeria Union of Teachers emphasized the pressing need for the government to prioritize the refurbishment and construction of school buildings.

“The government must ensure our schools are well-built, and those who educate our children should be well taken care of,” Ike-Ene concluded. “There’s much that needs to be done by the government.”