The fate of some three hundred pupils of the Junjung Primary School in the Chereponi district of the North East region, hangs in the balance following the closure of the school in March this year.
The school was closed down due to conflict between residents of Junjung and Tibongu over a piece of land in the area.
Children from both communities attend the same school located in Junjung.
The Northern Regional Peace Council is leading efforts to bring lasting peace to the area and is concerned about the long term effect of conflict on education in the area.
The Chereponi district has suffered perennial conflicts over land in recent times. The situation has negatively affected all sectors of life in the area such health, the economy and education.
Teachers and health workers fled communities like Tigenga and Junjung as a result of conflict with some returning only recently to reopen schools and CHPS compounds.
The situation in Junjung however remains the same as the only Primary school in the area remains closed down.
The Northern Regional Peace Council, with support from the UNDP is leading efforts to ensure sustainable peace in the area. The initiative also seeks to sensitize communities in the area to the threat of violent extremist groups in neighbouring Togo and Burkina Faso.
Stakeholders are concerned that, violent extremist groups operating across the border, may take advantage of conflicts in the area to infiltrate and escalate tensions in the area.
A Deputy Director of Programmes at the Northern Regional Peace Council, Nuhu Abukari in an interview with GBC NEWS in Junjung underscored the importance of education in the area.
“If they are not able to continue, it will hurt our efforts to bring lasting peace to this area. We believe giving children the opportunity to learn in school, promotes the spirit of tolerance and minimises the tendency to resort to violent means to addressing conflicts,” Mr. Nuhu emphasised.
The Northern Regional Peace Council, with funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has trained volunteers to implement community action plans to create awareness about the threat of violent extremism.
During the tour, GBC NEWS team observed that, communities in the area are highly impoverished with poor road network, poor telecom network with numerous unapproved routes across the border, further deepening the vulnerability of the people.
Addressing the numerous socio-economic challenges facing the area is therefore of critical importance towards building sustainable peace and preventing the threat of violent extremism in the area.