School children attending class at Noor Model School in Shamshatoo, Pakistan. Photo: IRIN/Sumaira Jajja
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today condemned the recent spate of fatal attacks on teachers in Pakistan, while voicing great concern about the growing trend of violence against educators around the world.
“Violence against teachers undermines confidence in education systems, traumatizes students, and discourages parents from sending children to school,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.
“Attacks on women teachers are particularly heinous because they disproportionately affect the girl students for whom they serve as role models,” it added.
Mr. Ban’s condemnation comes on the heels of the killing of Shahnaz Nazli, a 41-year-old teacher murdered by unknown gunmen on a motorbike in the town of Shahkas, in the Khyber Agency of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas. According to media reports, no group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
Ms. Nazli’s death follows the killing of five teachers in January near the town of Swabi in the volatile Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, located in the north of the country near the Afghan border.
In his statement, Mr. Ban called for schools to be respected as “safe and secure learning spaces” and urged local and national authorities the world over “to redouble their efforts to provide security in this area” and ensure that perpetrators of violence against teachers are brought to justice.
“The international community must work together to prevent violations of the right to education,” the statement concluded.