June 17, 2023 (Doha, Qatar) – The global education foundation, Education Above All (EAA) strongly condemns the attack by armed groups on a school in Western Uganda. The exact number of casualties is not confirmed, but reports suggest that nearly 40 people, mostly students have been killed. The school was burnt and some students were abducted. This recent attack on a school follows last week's attack on a village in the DRC on the border with Uganda. The deliberate targeting of students and educational facilities is a serious escalation in the conflict in Uganda and the DRC. Maleiha Malik, Executive Director of EAA's Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict Programme, calls for those who deliberately attack education to be held accountable. The international community must insist that all parties to the conflict adhere to international law and respect schools as safe places where students and teachers can learn, teach and play.
Attacks on education have the potential for longer term harm to education systems and the provision of education to children and young people in Uganda, DRC and Eastern Africa. Dr Mary Joy Piegozzi, Executive Director of Educate a Child Programme stated: 'The killing and abduction of children and young people in a school is abhorrent. EAA Foundation will continue to work in conflict affected situations to ensure that the most vulnerable children have access to quality education. EAA’s Educate A Child programme has, with its partners, enrolled over 400,000 formerly out of school children at the primary level in Uganda since 2012. Another 150,000 are waiting to enroll. What future can these young people see if secondary education holds the promise of the loss of those dear to them, torture, or a gruesome death? The global community must call for an end to all attacks on education and hold perpetrators to account.”
Education Above All Foundation condemns all attacks on students and educational institutions, and to prioritize the needs of children during these challenging times, in Uganda and around the world. The UN Security Council Resolution 2601 which was passed unanimously in October 2021, demonstrates a global consensus that all parties to armed conflict must safeguard the right to education and ensure that schools are protected safe spaces for all. EAA's #UniteToProtect campaign aims to raise global awareness of the importance of education and the need to protect the future of the next generations by guaranteeing the right to safe, quality education for every child.