EAA Strongly Condemns Attacks in Pakistan and Egypt, and Renews Calls to Unite to Protect Education
EAA urges local authorities to hold the perpetrators of these violent acts responsible and renews its call on the international community to unite to protect the fundamental human right to safe, quality education for every child.
On 27 October, a bomb attack on a school in the Pakistani city of Peshawar killed at least seven people and injured dozens. According to eyewitness reports, hundreds of students were attending classes when a perpetrator entered the school with explosives. The area in which the incident took place has witnessed armed conflict for nearly two decades, with no end in sight.
A day earlier, in Egypt, third-grade primary school student Eid Muhammad Al-Qalji died from a landmine explosion in the city of Bir Al-Abed, in North Sinai.
Mubarak Al Thani, Head of Advocacy at EAA, commented: “It is with great sadness that we read about the recent attacks in Pakistan and Egypt. Attacks on education continue to end innocent lives, and seriously harm the mental and physical health of the students, education professionals and communities involved. We must end the violence. Attacks on education must stop. Failing to protect the future of our next generation will damage prospects of peace and prosperity and will have economic repercussions for the countries where these attacks take place.”
Lost learning opportunities extend beyond generations and threaten to erase decades of progress, particularly for vulnerable communities and those living under conflict and insecurity.
According to the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), there were 11,000 reports of attacks on education worldwide in the last five years – 7,000 of which were deliberate. In total, 22,000 students, teachers, and education personnel were harmed.
On 9 September 2020, EAA commemorated the inaugural UN International Day to Protect Education from Attack by bringing together world leaders, campaigners, artists and global activists during a high-level virtual event to address the need for immediate action to protect education from attack, strengthen economies, and ultimately build peace.
Earlier this year, continuous efforts from Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of EAA and UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, led to the adoption of UN General Assembly resolution (A/RES/74/275) to organise this day.
EAA also launched the #UniteToProtect campaign to create ongoing global awareness of the need to protect the future of our next generations by ceasing all attacks on education so that the right to safe, quality education is guaranteed for every child.