Africa is more peaceful now than it was a decade ago, thanks to African efforts and increased international cooperation. The former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said these words almost a decade ago. Since then, things have changed in the continent as many countries are facing armed conflict, have weak institutions, their economies are vulnerable and have high youth unemployment. These problems have caused a host of challenges that start from transnational crimes (crimes that affect borders or challenge international communities) to that climate change; if these challenges are left not addressed, they may lead to the start of new ones or the restart of an old conflict.

Education, according to UNESCO, in 2019 had the highest rate of rejection in Sub-Sahara Africa as over one-fifth of children in the age range of 6 and 11 are out of school, continued with one-third between the ages of 12 and 14. Another report by USAI in 2019 reported that sixty per cent of youth between the age range of 15 and 17 are not in school. We might ask, why is this figure high, and why do children drop out? In Western and Central Africa, numerous
attacks on schools have been reported over the news in the past couple of years. Evidence documented has shown education is under attack as different schools have been interrupted. Nigeria is among the countries that have experienced armed conflict in the last decade. In 2009, a terrorist group came to light as it killed hundreds of Nigerians and displaced more than two million whilst this group literally forbids Western Education in the country (Pisa, 2015). Since then, this group has shown strong interest in forbidding western education.

This case study analysis paper will cover to what extent this group forbids Western education in Nigeria. In that process, background issues that led to this stage will be looked at, critical problems towards the insurgence of this group and a list of possible solutions that, if looked into, will help in strengthening the educational system in the country.


Without any doubt, education plays an important role for any country or society to embracer civilization. Formerly to the arrival of the British, education in Nigeria had two major types: Islamic education and Indigenous Education (Bscholarly, 2021). Each of them had their unique way of teaching as one was limited only to the teaching of Islam and the other people learning more about their cultures and traditions. In the 1840s, the British Christian Missionaries
introduced western education in Nigeria and in 1842, the Anglican Church established the first school. Since the introduction of western education, it slowly entered Nothern Nigeria as in 1947 the enrollment rate was high, which posed threats to the religious people in that region.

Over the years, education in the far North of Nigeria has been having challenges with a militant group called Boko Haram, which was founded in 2001. This group is characterized as an Islamic group which is debatable as it attacks more Muslim schools and children than others. This group translate to “Western Education is a sin” in the Hausa language, and it came into the limelight in 2011 when the first attacked United Nations Headquarters in Abuja (BBC News, 2011). Since that time, it has been different news reports about them kidnapping students, destroying
properties, recruiting people forcefully, and killing and forcing those in captivity into early marriages (Giles, 2020).

Facts Surrounding the Case:

In the analysis of this case study, this paper gave statistics on the impact of this deadly terrorist group on the educational system in the North and North-East of Nigeria. The statistics provided were backed up with reasons for their actions and analytics with the enrollment rate of students in these various schools. With a lot of research and factual points indicated in the paper a series of specific, relevant and measurable incidents involved were stated.
To start with, there is the indication of how 70 per cent of schools have been destroyed in that region as a result of the invasion of this militant group in the Northeast. In addition to that, teachers have also been affected when you look at them being at the forefront to teach students this western education. In the case study, 25 per cent of teachers were threatened and most were killed in such circumstances. This group sees western education as a threat to their beliefs and that people will get equipped to fight against them. They have decimated over 2,295 teachers with this fear and dismantled 1,400 schools since the uprising started in 2009 (Philip Obaji Jr, 2021).

Moreover, with schools being destroyed, this increased the reduction of enrollment of students from 68 per cent to 66 per cent, as the case study reported. The group attacks schools and parents are scared to allow their children because if they are kidnapped, a ransom of money will be asked they cannot afford (Afzal, 2020). This group in 2015 surpassed ISIS as the world’s most dangerous terrorist group, and its ten-year-old insurgency has uprooted over two million people and killed tens of thousands (ReliefWeb, 2015).

Key Issues:

Different key issues were identified in the case study—key issues ranging from political instability, religious beliefs, and economic and social insecurity. In the case of political instability, the Government is doing little to provide for the North’s people as most of the nation’s development is focused in the South(Olatunji, 2021). In the case of instability and public resentment, Boko Haram use this as an advantage to earn trust as many people in the North of the country are angry about the absence of actual government presence in their villages.

Furthermore, it is clear that without government support, this region is literally ranked the poorest in the country as 9 out of 10 poorest states comes from this region (Adesoji, 2020). This is a sign of how economically neglected this region is. With the value of western education increasing, so people are unable to afford it at a location that is safer for them. Governments do not help rebuild destroyed schools as assaulting schools and kidnapping kids are unquestionably profitable for these terrorists from the state and federal governments.

Similarly, the officials and elders use the region to cover up their negligence to provide formal education and security for the people. The use of religion to identify people is high in this region as most of its populace are Muslims (Pierri and Barkindo, 2016). The group says they are an Islamic group despite its aim to forbid western education as it threatens its beliefs, which makes the other religions insecure.

Alternative Courses of Action and Evaluation:

In the case of these challenges, there are numerous courses of action that, if looked into, will help
in mitigating these crises.

★ Government should first end the issue of negotiations and demands that are asked from these groups and enforce the policies by making sure that school protection policies are provided all around this region despite the accessibility might be a concern.
★ Not totally end the previous system of education but make sure that there is inclusivity in the educational system and not making education a priority but providing other opportunities for those who might not be interested in western education.
★ The people in this group join because of external challenges. Negotiations, education, awareness, and inclusivity can also help look at how neglected the elders in this region felt when western education was introduced.

All of these courses of action are feasible despite there will be some challenges in accomplishing them. The people in this group have different opinions and ambitions, and in order to come to a resolution, their needs should be met before any form of peace comes in, which will require the government to do things extra. Moreover, the policy formulation thing might be risky looking at how radical these people are and would not want anything that guides their actions. The policies should be considered from a different perspective, which takes time to put in place.

The Best Course of Action:

The encouragement of knowledge and awareness, on the other hand, is not only a motivator for ending extremism but also a technique for defeating it. Indeed, if created, education and livelihood independence can be one of the most effective forces in combating terrorism and providing a safe environment. As Mandela stated, the most powerful weapon against ignorance, fanaticism, extreme religious rigidity, and terrorism is education. Education will undermine
extreme groups’ power, encourage more people to think for themselves and eliminate fanatical thoughts. Obviously, this will be accompanied by inclusiveness, policy regulations, and economic possibilities, all of which are enhanced by education.

Africa Renewal. (2010). Securing lasting peace in Africa.

Bamidele Samuel Adesoji, (2020). Over 82 million Nigerians are poor, northern states dominate list. Nairametrics.

BBC News. (2011). Abuja attack: Car bomb hits Nigeria UN building.

Bscholarly (2021). History of Education in Nigeria: True Origin of Nigerian Education System. Bscholarly.

Education development trust. (2021). The quantitative impact of armed conflict on education. Education Development Trust.

Giles, C. (2020). Nigeria school kidnappings: Is Boko Haram responsible? BBC News.

Madiha Afzal, (2020). The fundamental connection between education and Boko Haram in
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Olatunji, H. (2021). “Violence in north-east caused by government neglect” | TheCable.

Philip Obaji Jr. (2021). Why Boko Haram Targets Nigerian Schools. Foreign Policy.

Pierri, Z. and Barkindo, A. (2016). Muslims in Northern Nigeria: Between Challenge and Opportunity. Muslim Minority-State Relations, pp.133–153.

Pisa, K. (2015). Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau. CNN.

ReliefWeb. (2015). Global Terrorism Index 2015: Measuring and Understanding the Impact of Terrorism – World.

UNESCO. (2019). Education in Africa | UNESCO UIS.