Amnesty International issued a new report a few days ago, Education under attack in Nigeria.
In the week that saw more than 50 students killed by gunmen in an agricultural college in Yobe State, Amnesty International publishes a new report assessing attacks on schools in northern Nigeria between 2012 and 2013.
“Hundreds have been killed in these horrific attacks. Thousands of children have been forced out of schools across communities in northern Nigeria and many teachers have been forced to flee for their safety,” said Lucy Freeman, Amnesty International’s deputy Africa director.
“Attacks against schoolchildren, teachers and school buildings demonstrate an absolute disregard for the right to life and the right to education.”
According to the report Education under attack in Nigeria, this year alone at least 70 teachers and scores of pupils have been slaughtered and many others wounded. Some 50 schools have been burned or seriously damaged and more than 60 others have been forced to close.
The Islamist group commonly known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for many, but not all, of the attacks.
Between 2010 and 2011 attacks were mostly carried out when schools were empty. However since the beginning of 2013 they appear to have become more targeted and brutal. They frequently happen when schools are occupied, and according to reports received by Amnesty International, teachers and pupils are now being directly targeted and killed.
Trying to wipe out education is as fascist as it gets.
Despite hearing/reading about the Boko Haram attacks over the last few years, I never had any idea what the group’s aims were, or how it thought attacking schools would further them. It never occurred to me to find out what “Boko Haram” actually meant (or even wonder whether it meant anything at all)*. None of the news reports I heard or read gave a translation either…until I heard a report on last week’s attack which said it roughly translates as “western education is forbidden/sinful”.
I think what they mean by “western education” is actually any kind of secular education, or probably anything other than rote learning of the Koran, Madrassa style.
* – I feel a little guilty about this.
That group’s official name is Jamā’a Ahl al-sunnah li-da’wa wa al-jihād (Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad), but Boko Haram is a nickname that they got on account of their vehement objections to non-Islamic education.
Boko = borrowing of English “book”
Haram = borrowing of Arabic “haram” (forbidden, sin)
Thus, (Western) Books Forbidden
Not long ago: Boko Haram leader calls for more schools attacks after dorm killings | World news | theguardian.com
Or one could say as ideological as it gets. Whether it’s fascism, religion or communism, killing the educated and keeping the populace ignorant is one way of keeping them under control. Heck, that’s what’s happening in the US, the destruction of the public school system to ensure only the wealthy can get a good education.
It’s usually done because the “leadership” aren’t well educated, and don’t want competition or to be out-thought by those smarter than themselves.