More than 855,000 children out of school, UNICEF has recently warned, saying that without urgent action, and without a commitment from all parties to the conflict to protect education in all its forms, the future of these children is at risk.
Among these children, almost 150,000 have been displaced from their home, which increases their vulnerability and trauma.
Two months since the new school year started, some 90 percent of public primary schools (more than 4,100 schools) and 77 percent of public secondary schools (or 744) remain closed or non-operational in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon. Fear of violence has kept parents from sending their children to school and teachers and staff from reporting to work.
“Thousands of children in Cameroon are living in fear. They need peace so that they can resume their education and reclaim their future,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “When children are out of school, they face a higher risk of recruitment by armed groups, child marriage, early pregnancy and other forms of exploitation and abuse.”
In some areas where schools have been closed, community-run learning activities have been initiated to ensure that children do not miss out further on their education.
UNICEF is procuring reading books and other learning materials for 37,000 school-aged children.
In addition, UNICEF will disseminate literacy and numeracy lessons by radio for children who remain at home. These interactive lessons in English have been recorded with UNICEF support and will offer a protective learning routine for nine months, allowing children to catch up on their math and language.
UNICEF is also working to meet the longer-term educational requirements of Cameron’s children and young people, by training teachers, including on social cohesion, and launching accelerated education programmes. (Source: Relief Web)