UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday condemned the violent attacks on teachers in Pakistan, and called on local and national authorities to step up security measures and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, the Secretary-General called for schools to be respected as safe and secure learning places.

He urged local and national authorities to redouble their efforts to provide security in this area and to ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice.  “The international community must work together to prevent violations of the right to education,” he said.

The statement said, “Shahnaz Nazli, a 41-year old teacher, was killed this week in Shahkas, in the Khyber Agency of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Five teachers were killed in January near the town of Swabi in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. In addition to the tragic loss of life, violence against teachers undermines confidence in education system, traumatises students, and discourages parents from sending children to school.”

“Attacks on women teachers are particularly heinous because they disproportionately affect the girl students for whom they serve as role models,“

the statement added.