In 2016, the education sector made substantive progress, including with the rehabilitation and construction of schools, school canteens and examination centres. School supplies and equipment were also distributed and capacity building was carried out for teachers. In Chad for example, all teachers targeted for 2016 were enrolled in on-going training, leading to professional certification. Noteworthy in Niger, was the establishment and maintenance of three Distance Education Centres and French courses for Nigerian refugees. In Cameroon, an adult literacy program was carried out with 540 students enrolled, out of which 44 per cent were women. The provision of basic services is very weak in certain areas and often highly dependent on aid organizations in the Lake Chad region. Local authorities and existing basic service providers, such as schools, face serious problems in recruiting and retaining qualified staff and this pattern is further exacerbated by insecurity. In light of this, the capacity of Governments to provide protective and quality education services for refugees, IDPs, returning Niger nationals and host communities in all three countries needs to be substantially increased, including with human resources, capacity building, infrastructure, technical support and equipment.
The education sector plays a pivotal role in the response to the displacement crisis. It constitutes a key protection tool in a context where many children face a heightened risk of recruitment by armed groups in addition to the pre-existing risks of neglect, abuse, exploitation and violence. Education is an investment in the future because it is an essential step towards socio-economic resurgence and social cohesion.