As Boko Haram vestiges keep launching attacks in remote villages in Borno State, teachers and students in Chibok village have resorted to self-defence against the insurgents by joining the civilian Joint Task Force (JTF), ICIR has been told.
According to Bukky Shonibare, a co-convener of Bringbackourgirls (BBOG) advocacy group who just returned from the village, Chibok teachers and students now arm themselves in classrooms with locally-made guns.
“I just returned from Chibok just this last Saturday and I saw how girls and boys got educated under what looked like a war zone. You have the head teacher and teachers carry gun. They had no fences around the school,” she told ICIR during the opening of the Cedarwood Academy for Girls in Abuja.
“A lot of those children don’t have writing materials, no school bags, English is a challenge. You can’t communicate with them in English simply because there are no qualified teachers to teach them.
“Some of these teachers have become part of the vigilante and because they are part of the vigilante group, they have to secure their schools because there are fences around.
“The students need security. This is a war zone and it means that the insurgents can penetrate at any point in time. Seeing that tells you that for some of these children, they also need to be secured.”
Chibok community in Borno State came to limelight when in the night of April 2014 when 276 female students were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town.
Speaking on the plight of the girl child in accessing education in Nigeria, Shonibare said concerted efforts must be made to give equal opportunities to both the male and female child.
“It is imperative to know that the issue of the chibok girls actually opened the eyes of Nigerians and the world at large to the plight of the girl child, especially in the northern Nigeria.
“What that portends for us is the fact that education for some people means life. Some people somewhere are actually seeking education at the possible expense of their lives. These girls actually went to school and were abducted from the school. And when you look at that it tells you the risks that some girls have to face.
“There are evidences that girls have been advanced sufficiently, compared to the male child and compared to men. We see that exemplified in gaps in pay, in opportunities that girls can access. The passion for me is to ensure that there is a level play field for both girls and boys. When you are educating a male child, you should also educate the girl child to ensure that the same capacity that exists for boys exists for girls” she siad