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After being captured, Nigerian students seek overseas education

Lagos – Emmanuel Benson planned to earn a degree in horticulture and landscaping from the Federal University of Forest Mechanization in Nigeria next year. Now he is willing to risk returning to school after being kidnapped by dozens of other bandits earlier this year.

“Our lives are at stake — Nigerian students, especially in Kaduna, where we are,” said a 24-year-old student. As much as he wanted to complete his research, “everything that is happening with the kidnapping hasn’t stopped yet … being here no longer benefits anyone.”

Benson is looking for alternative educational solutions that will not endanger them as bandits in northern Nigeria become more ambitious and kidnapped students for ransom purposes. It is one of the growth groups.

According to teachers and parents, at least 25 Nigerian students who have been under the control of shooters in the northwestern part of Nigeria for nearly two months have left West Africa and another country such as the United States. I am currently collecting resources in the hope of studying at. At the Federal Forest Mechanization University in Kaduna.

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Some of the students, as well as parents and teachers at Kaduna University, told The Associated Press that life had not changed after being imprisoned for about seven weeks before regaining freedom in May. They are afraid to pursue education in Nigeria and are currently relying on the help of a school committee that oversees the process of applying for overseas education.

There is still no clear plan on how that registration will work, except that they want scholarship opportunities in the United States or elsewhere.

According to Paul Yahya, one of the 25 students, “the country is not safe”, so Nigeria is no longer their choice.

Many families in Kaduna say they are now mostly indoors for fear of attack. The ransom is high, and in Nigeria, the national poverty rate is 40% and parents are struggling.

“Even my parents had a hard time paying the ransom (for the kidnapped children) and paid a lot of money to the negotiators (who helped secure the release of the children), so the money No, “said Abdullah Usman. , Chairman of a committee of parents and teachers who oversees the application process for interested students.

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If a student leaves, it means starting a new higher education and losing at least three years spent so far.

According to Peter Hawkins, head of the United Nations Children’s Fund Nigeria, the 25 students who want to leave are one of the 1,436 students kidnapped in Africa’s most populous country last year. The kidnapping of the school affected the education of up to 1.3 million Nigerian children, he said.

The Kaduna School and many other schools in at least four states remain closed due to anxiety.

Kauna Daniel wants to leave, even though he doesn’t have the money or passport to do so, but he’s still scared.

“I don’t want to go anywhere again,” her voice screamed angry on the phone. She said she couldn’t sleep since she was released from restraint in May due to trauma and eye problems.

“The trauma we’re experiencing is out of control and everything is still getting worse,” said a 19-year-old woman, who seems to be pleading “it’s better to stay home.” .. “

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The United Nations estimates that in more than 200 million countries, 10 million children are no longer in school. This is one of the highest rates in the world and fears that one million people will return to class as schools reopen in the coming weeks. According to Save the Children Nigeria, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these numbers, saying that 46 million Nigerian students were affected by the school closure as a result of the pandemic.

A school kidnapping by a group of shooters who often camp in abandoned forest reserves in the northwestern and central parts of the country involves some parents in a dilemma. Should they bravely confront the odds and send their children to school? Are schools often remote, or should they be kept home and away from the prying eyes of shooters?

Kaduna School Committee Chairman Usman said parents of Kaduna-affected students “aspired” to enroll in overseas schools because their children were “still vulnerable … could be kidnapped at any time.” He said he was doing it.

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Sani on Friday is one such parent. His two daughters have been in captivity for weeks with other students at the University of Kaduna and are currently waiting for a reply from a place other than Nigeria that is mentally unable to return to school in a West African country. He said he was.

“The Nigerian government needs to plan to better prepare its education system to respond to the crisis,” said Badal Musa of Save the Children International in Nigeria. “We need to increase investment in the education system from both government and international donors.”

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

After being captured, Nigerian students seek overseas education

Source link After being captured, Nigerian students seek overseas education

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