Niger state shuts ten boarding schools, relocate students

Jul 31, 2021 | Education

THE NIGER STATE GOVERNMENT HAS CLOSED TEN OF THE 56 EXISTING BOARDING SCHOOLS IN THE STATE, following a series of raids on several communities, including boarding schools.

As a result, those affected have been moved to safer schools where they can continue their studies. Those given priority in the relocation are SSS 3 students who are currently writing their NECO.

Hajiya Hannatu Jibrin Salihu, the State Commissioner of Education, said the closed-down boarding schools were part of the “high risk” boarding schools likely to be invaded by kidnappers, while answering questions from journalists after the State Executive Council presided over by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello in Minna yesterday.

She explained: “After carrying out security assessment of our schools, we considered some as very “high risk” and this is why we had to close down the schools and relocate the students immediately.

“We are still compiling those schools to be fenced at least to provide security for the students but the slim purse of the government is slowing down the take-off of the project.”

The commissioner, on the other hand, stated that the state government has made steps to renovate the sixty-year-old Ahmadu Bahago secondary school in Minna at a cost of N427 million in order to bring it up to par, adding that the State executive council has given its approval.

According to her, this is part of the state government’s “Whole School Renovation” programme, which aims to give the state’s schools a facelift.

She also said the state government had planned to install security perimeter fencing around all of the state’s 400 public secondary schools, but due to a lack of funds, the project has yet to begin, and as a result, some boarding schools have been closed.

Despite the security issues facing the state, the Education Commissioner highlighted that 25 boarding schools remain open since they are judged to be functioning in a low-security environment.

The remaining 21 boarding schools, according to Hajiya Hannatu, have been converted to day schools to allow students to finish their studies without causing disruption in the community.

“The risk assessment of schools is now a continuous exercise as we work hand in hand with PTAs and other stakeholders to actualize our dream,” she remarked.

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