UNICEF intensify campaign to end violence against school children in Ebonyi
By Ruth Oginyi
In consonance with the Sustainable Development Goal 16.2., UNICEF has called on partners, ministries and other stakeholders to show more commitment towards ending violence against children in schools in which is on the high side in Ebonyi State by 2030.
Article 19 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) provides that children have the right to protection from all forms of violence while Article 28 guarantees all children the right to free primary education which should be in violence free settings .
UNICEF being a lover of children however is working assiduously to achieve the fit.
Action Plan have been designed by the state, with define strategies and initiatives that are geared towards ending VAC in the year 2030 in Ebonyi.
Speaking during a quarterly meeting on child protection by a technical working group, Mr. Victor Atuchukwu , Child Protection Specialist UNICEF Enugu Field Office, said there is need to strengthen capacity of the duty bearers on violence against children.
He said UNICEF was taking the campaign to schools in the state to create more awareness and put a stop to violence on children in schools in the State.
According to the child protection specialist, no one , no ministry, no department , no partner can address the issue of violence against women and girls alone .
“So it became imperative that everybody come together , review what are the strategies, what is working, what is not working and Proffer solution”.
He said, “Just like every other state were the survey have been carried out, violence against children in school is still an issue in school in Ebonyi is on the high side but I see the commitment this is going to be domiciled in ministry of education. I think there is need to strengthen their capacity and understanding in its entirety what violence against children is all about .
“You see that some of this violence against children in school is seen as normal thing maybe because the teachers , duty bearers maybe they do not understand that copral punishment, physical violence is abuse some of them see it as correcting the child.
” So in every quarter we will meet to discuss hear from the duty bearers, the Stakeholders, the community volunteers, the social welfare officers working at the grassroot level to tell us what is the prevalence, what is the nature.
“Again everybody shares idea , everybody shares lesson, the best practice and also collect data, know who is reporting, who is not reporting and basically sort away forward strengthen collaboration with partners for excellence delivery service for Ebonyi children.
“See we want to start from the school because from the back survey violence against children 2014, some of the children said they experience a lot of violence from the school teachers for them to say that you know what it is.
It is high time we review the curriculum get the Stakeholders in school involved to look at it critically , sensitization implementation of the action we are reviewing today.
“In essence, any form of school discipline should take into account the child’s human dignity. Notwithstanding these human rights obligations towards children, VAC still persists in school settings across the globe. However, since the release of the 2006 Report, countries of the world have stepped up effort aimed at tackling the phenomenon. In Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Education with the support of UNICEF conducted an assessment of VAC in Basic Schools across the country in 2007. Findings from this Baseline Study were shocking.
Report have it that, the prevalent types of violence in schools included physical, psychological, sexual, gender and health based violence.
Physical violence (85%) and psychological violence (50%) accounted for the bulk of violence against children in schools.
Reporting violence was found to be very low among learners, even when they know whom to report such cases.
Reporting of violence was very low among learners, ranging from 4% for sexual violence to 40% for physical violence.
UNICEF is currently training peer Educators in Ishiagu Ivo Local Government and Ishielu local government areas of the State