LETTER FROM A STUDENT ON CHIBOK ABDUCTION ANNIVERSARY

Dear  editor,
April 14 marks the first anniversary of the horrific abduction of 219
girls in Chibok, Nigeria by Boko Haram. On this day I stand in
solidarity with these girls and their families, my fellow ‘A World at School Global Youth Ambassadors’ and thousands of young advocates for education around the world to demand the right to education and safe
schools for all.

No child should have to risk being attacked or abducted for going to
school, yet around the world attacks on students, teachers and schools
are on the rise and 28 million children are out of school due to
conflict and emergencies.

United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown has
echoed the responsibility we have to ensure children are in a safe
environment, “It is our moral duty to make sure that every single
child in the world can enjoy the basic right to education – free of
terror, free of fear, and with the support of the international
community.”

The kidnapping of the Chibok girls shocked and outraged the
international community. But this is not just about Chibok. While
children risk violence to get a seat in a classroom, donor aid to
education is in steady decline, many countries do not have plans to
reach the most marginalized children, and the 2015 target for getting
all children in school and learning is being pushed back to 2030. This
is unacceptable.

Girls’ education is also a critical issue in our own country.
Education enables girls and women to overcome oppressive social
limitations such as exploitative work and child marriage, and enables
them to learn how to better claim social and economic rights. An
educated female population increases a country’s productivity and
fuels economic growth, yet some countries lose more than $1 billion a
year by failing to educate girls to the same level as boys.

Now is a critical time not only for rescuing the Nigerian girls but
also for securing the right to education and safety of all students
across the world. We have the power to make these issues a global
priority.

A world at school Global youth Ambassador,
Salimatou Fatty