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Parents, Students Lament Closure of Borno Schools

Maiduguri — Parents and students in Maiduguri yesterday decried the decision by the Borno State government to close all public schools in the state for fear of attacks by the Boko Haram.

Mallam Buji Mallum, a father of 10 children, said the decision would demoralize youths that are attending schools and also embolden the terrorists whose aim according to him is to force normal life to a standstill.

“No right thinking person will query the decision of the people in government because they know things better but honestly, the Boko Haram miscreants will feel they are winning the war. There should be a way of sustaining schools, schools should continue running,” he said.

Madam Hannatu James said she cried when she heard the news of the abrupt closure. “Yes, it is sad that students and other people are being killed by the Boko Haram but once schools are closed, the terrorists would intensify attacks on other people oriented policies,” she said.

Daily Trust gathered that the decision will cripple the academic activities of nearly 120,000 secondary school students in 85 public schools in the 27 local government areas of the state. Most of the schools are about writing their second term examinations ahead of the Easter break. Students from Federal Government Girls College, Monguno have been transferred to Federal Government College Maiduguri to continue their studies.

Findings revealed that most proprietors of private schools in Maiduguri and nearby Jere LGA are yet to decide on whether to comply with the decision or not. It is also not yet clear if the state government’s decision will also affect hundreds of primary schools across the state. Officials at the state ministry of education and the state Universal Basic Education Commission (BOSIEC) were silent on the matter.

Governor Kashim Shettima was quoted in the media as saying that public schools would remain closed until the security situation improves. Last year, the governor said at a function that over 800 blocks of classrooms were destroyed by the Boko Haram fighters, some of them more than two times. Our correspondents report that principals of many secondary schools in Maiduguri have already notified their students and teachers to stop going to classes from tomorrow (Friday).

Findings show that even before the latest announcement, dozens of schools especially in northern part of Borno State have been closed for nearly two years following incessant threats and attacks by assailants.

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