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Banditry: a women’s organization denounces the growing number of out-of-school children

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Banditry: a women’s organization denounces the growing number of out-of-school children

By Uchenna Eletuo

The Catholic Women’s Organization (CWO) Nigeria on Saturday denounced the growing number of children out of school due to banditry and kidnappings in the country.

The religious organization, an umbrella body for Catholic women in Nigeria, said in recent times child abduction for ransom has endangered schoolchildren’s education and forced schools to close for months.

CWO National President Dame Mary Ashibi-Gonsum said in an interview with the Nigerian News Agency (NAN) in Lagos that the continuing threat will breed future generations of illiteracy.

Ashibi-Gonsum said the threat could ensure that students do not have the means to manage themselves, let alone the nation.

The National President, who has expressed disappointment at the poor performance of students in competitions and external exams such as JAMB and SSCE, among others, said efforts should be made to stop the disruption of the school calendar and ensure that children remain enrolled in school to learn.

She attributed the dismal performance of students on exams to insecurity and urged the federal government to explore other approaches to providing security other than military operations.

She said the federal government had tried to control banditry and kidnappings, that more effort was needed to secure schools, especially those outside cities, as many were prone to attack.

The leader, who expressed her dismay at the inability of some state governments to secure schools in their areas.

“In places like Kaduna, Bauchi, Maiduguri and other parts of northern Nigeria, schools have been closed for months and years, with children out of school.

“This is a terrible social trend that can pit children against developmental elements and create a life of uncertainty in the future.

“As a government, we shouldn’t be looking for a solution in one direction; we should explore socio-economic mobilization that will give people a sense of belonging and be able to protect schools in their area by giving officers valuable information about any potential crisis before it erupts. ” she declared.

She called on parents to instill discipline and good character in their children and to make sure they are wary of the type of company their teenage children keep so that they grow up and become responsible people. (NAA)

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