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Closure of Unity Schools in N’East to Affect over 10000

Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike

Ministry allays fears over transfer to other schools


Damilola Oyedele 

Not less than 10,000 secondary school students will be affected by last Wednesday’s decision by the Federal Government to temporarily shut down five out of the 80 unity colleges in the three states under emergency rule (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe), due to insecurity.

The number of the affected students could however be higher given the fact that some of the unity schools have as many as 3,000 students, which is much higher than the estimated student population of 2,500 of an average unity school.

The affected unity colleges are: Federal Government Girls College, Munguno in Borno State; Federal Government College, Potiskum in Yobe State; Federal Government College, Buni Yadi in Yobe State; Federal Science and Technical College Lassa in Borno State; and Federal Science and Technical College, Michika in Adamawa State.

The Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, in a statement issued by his Special Assistant, Media, Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu, directed that the candidates who registered for the 2014 WASSCE, NECO SSCE and BECE in FGGC Potiskum be absorbed in FGGC Bauchi to write their exams, which is expected to commence in May. Those who registered for the exams in FGGC Munguno and FGC Buni Yadi, which was recently attacked by the terrorist sect, would also be relocated to other schools.

“Other students who are affected by the shutting down of the schools, but not writing public examinations will be relocated to FGGC Bauchi, FGGC Bajoga, FGC Maiduguri, FSTC Kafanchan and FSTC Dayi,” the statement read.

In the aftermath of the attack on the school in Buni Yadi where 30 students and six others were murdered, arrangements are being made to ensure that the survivors receive psychological help and counselling to help overcome the trauma.

THISDAY had exclusively reported last week that the government was considering temporary closure of some of the 80 unity colleges in the area.

THISDAY also gathered that the areas where the affected schools are located are considered to be some of the hotspots in the crises which have troubled the three states under emergency rule.

A highly placed source at the Ministry of Education told THISDAY that the Parents Association of the school, in collaboration with officials of the ministry, are working to ensure that the survivors are assisted to deal with the nightmarish experience.

The official added that the cost of relocating the students was yet to be fully calculated, but was not expected to be much as all monies had been settled by the parents since the schools were in session before the attack on Buni Yadi.

“The documentation for bills would just be transferred. The only new cost may just be to the accommodating schools, to assist to increase their carrying capacity. FG schools maintain 35 –40 pupils per class so that it is easily manageable, so provision for transferred students would be made so that the schools can accommodate them. That would not be a burden on the parents definitely,” the official said.

When contacted, the Spaecial Assistant to the Supervising Minister of Education, Simeon Nwakaudu allayed fears that the parents may h
ave to lobby to be able to get their children into other schools.
Speaking with THISDAY in a telephone conversation, Nwakaudu said arrangements are already being made for the accommodation of the new students in the six schools earlier mentioned.

“There is nothing like that. Why would they lobby? Parents can re-enrol their wards in these schools, but this is limited to the six schools. Parents have the choice of choosing whichever of the six schools,” he

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