UNICEF flays attacks on school kids

Kathmandu, June 29:

UNICEF today condemned continued attacks on schoolchildren and educational facilities in conflict zones across the world.

“Attacks on schoolchildren are unacceptable,” a statement issued here today quoted UNICEF executive director Ann M Veneman as saying. “Schools must be safe environments for children to learn and thrive.”

It said that two schoolchildren were killed and another three students and a teacher were injured outside a girls’ school in Afghanistan on June 12, while one student who was headed for an exam venue was killed, and in a separate incident, another was injured in a crossfire in Gaza on June 14.

In parts of Iraq, parents remain concerned about the risks involved in sending their children to school and insecurity has closed schools in the Central African Republic, Nepal and Sri Lanka, the statement said.

However, incidents that occurred this month prove that students face real risks in institutions they go to.

In the Palestinian territory in June, some 60,000 students in both Gaza and the West Bank made it through 10 days of entrance exams, despite the current crisis, it added.

“Children have the right to a safe learning environment at all times, even under the most difficult of circumstances,” the statement quoted Veneman as saying.