The United Nations has urged the Nigerian government to place education at the center of all peacebuilding efforts to build a lasting culture of peace.
This is stated in a joint press release issued on Wednesday by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Information Center the United Nations (UNIC).
The statement highlighted the urgent need for the Nigerian government to prioritize education as a tool to foster human dignity, tolerance and peace.
The UNESCO Representative in Nigeria, Abdourahamane Diallo, said that if education is placed at the center of our commitment to peace, “it can equip students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to become agents of peace in their immediate communities.
“While we encourage the government to prioritize education at the top of its political agenda, there is a strong call to bring together influencers and civil society at large to drive the movement to bring education to the center of the consolidation of peace at all levels.”
In the statement, Diallo revealed that “UNESCO has established a new standard instrument on education for lasting peace, where education offers multiple opportunities to address the root causes of hate speech and raise awareness among students of all ages about its forms.” and online and offline consequences. “
Furthermore, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, commended Nigeria’s commitment to the Safe Schools Declaration and the development of Minimum Standards for Safe Schools and the need for further progress to ensure safe school environments.
She said: “On this important day, we are reminded of the collective responsibility we share to safeguard the educational environment of every child. Education is a key driver of gender equality, economic growth and social development; Unfortunately, it remains inaccessible to many Nigerian children. “Her educational trajectory is often interrupted by attacks on communities and schools, including the kidnapping of students.”
“These challenges are particularly acute for adolescent girls and could slow the progress made in girls’ education in Nigeria,” she added.
In her message, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay highlighted the role of education in promoting peace.
“Because if hate begins with words, peace begins with education, what we learn changes the way we see the world and influences how we treat others. Therefore, education must be at the center of our efforts to achieve and maintain world peace.”
Azoulay said this year’s International Education Day focuses on the critical role of teaching and learning in promoting lasting peace and the adaptations needed for education to address current global challenges.
“The UNESCO Recommendation on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Sustainable Development, adopted by our 194 Member States in November 2023, is an important milestone in this regard. This global standard-setting instrument, the only one of its kind, is a roadmap to rethink and redesign education systems to prepare learners to collectively shape more just, sustainable, healthy and peaceful futures for all. UNESCO hopes to support educational reforms based on this recommendation around the world.”
About International Education Day
On December 3, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed January 24 as International Education Day, celebrating the role of education in peace and development.