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How Climate Change Affects Child Education In Nigeria

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Climate Change

How Climate Change Affects Child Education In Nigeria

Nigeria’s Government needs to invest in climate-resilient school buildings and infrastructure to ensure that educational facilities

One of the greatest challenges facing education in Nigeria today is flood, especially in the northern part of the country, which is exacerbated by climate change.

These disasters can damage school buildings, making them unsafe for children to attend. In some cases, schools may be destroyed, leaving children without access to education.

According to the latest global data on out-of-school children by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Nigeria now has about 20 million out-of-school children.

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However, the devastated state of climate change in the northern region of Nigeria has severe implications for children.

Climate change has caused a decline in water availability, especially in arid and semi-arid regions of Northern Nigeria. Children often have to travel long distances to fetch water and this has resulted in children spending significant time and effort collecting water for their families instead of attending school which affects their education and exposes them to health risks.

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The prevalence of diseases such as malaria and cholera is due to changing weather patterns and inadequate sanitation. Children are particularly vulnerable to these diseases, leading to high mortality rates.

Education Disruption

Floods and droughts often result in the displacement of communities and damage to infrastructure, including schools. Children are forced to drop out of school, affecting their educational opportunities and future prospects.

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It also affects the livelihoods of families, especially those dependent on agriculture. This can push families into poverty, leading to children being deprived of necessities like healthcare, education, and adequate nutrition.

In some cases, climate change-induced resource scarcity can lead to conflicts over water and land. This can result in internal displacement or migration, exposing children to violence, exploitation, and psychological trauma.

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What The Nigerian Government Need To Do

Climate-resilient infrastructure

Nigeria’s Government needs to invest in climate-resilient school buildings and infrastructure to ensure that educational facilities are better prepared to withstand extreme weather events. This would reduce the risk of damage and enable schools to remain functional during and after disasters.

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As a matter of urgency, the Nigerian government needs to Incorporate climate change education into the curriculum to raise awareness among children about the impacts of climate change and the importance of environmental conservation. This would empower them to take action and become advocates for sustainable practices within their communities.

Access to alternative education

In areas prone to climate-related displacement, ensuring access to alternative education options, such as temporary learning centers or mobile schools, can help mitigate the disruption caused by displacement. These centers can provide education to children while their communities recover from climate-related events.

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Sustainable livelihood opportunities

Supporting sustainable livelihood opportunities for families affected by climate change can help alleviate poverty and enable parents to afford education expenses for their children. This can include promoting climate-resilient agriculture practices, providing vocational training, and supporting income-generating activities.

International cooperation and funding

International organizations and donor countries can provide financial and technical support to Nigeria to implement climate change adaptation and resilience programs in the education sector. This would help enhance the capacity of schools and communities to mitigate the impacts of climate change on education.

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Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed, a seasoned investigative journalist and climate/environmental reporter with a decade of experience, unravels complex issues and amplifies critical voices. His in-depth investigative work and insightful reporting have earned him recognition as a trusted source of information. Ahmed's unwavering commitment to journalism and exceptional storytelling prowess make him a standout figure in investigative journalism. His work drives meaningful conversations, influences policy decisions, and inspires collective efforts toward a sustainable future.

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