Niger State government has ordered the closure of all public secondary schools in the state for two weeks.
The state’s Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Hannatu Jibrin Salihu, disclosed this on Thursday.
This decision was reached after an interface between the state government and officials from various security agencies in the State.
She said the schools will, however, be closed from Friday, March 12th to Friday, March 26th, 2021.
The education ministry had earlier had an emergency consultative meeting with the leadership of Association of the Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Association of Model Islamic Schools (AMIS), Executive Chairman, Niger State Universal Basic Education Board (NSUBEB), heads of education agencies and other stakeholders of the education sector in the State.
Though 22 secondary schools (11 Day and 11 Boarding Schools) have earlier been closed, she said the two weeks closure of all secondary schools was necessary to give relevant security agencies the time and opportunity to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment of all public secondary schools.
The exercise, when completed, will provide an all-inclusive mechanism and strategies that will restore and guarantee sustainable security and safety of students, school infrastructure, education managers and teachers in the State, she added.
While commending education actors, parents and communities for their patience, understanding and support in this trying time, she reiterated the government’s commitment to leave no stone unturned and ensure that all schools are safe for effective teaching and learning.
Attacks on schools
Niger State is gradually becoming a hot spot for bandits’ attacks and schools are the main target.
Bandits attacked a school in Kagara in February.
Governor Sani Bello, said 27 students, three staff and 12 members of their families were abducted.
The school has a population of over 1,000 students.
One of the students, Benjamin Doma, was gunned down while trying to escape.
The abductors reportedly left him behind in the pool of his blood as they shepherded the students and teachers to the bush.
The Kagara abduction was carried out less than three months after the kidnapping of over 300 students at Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in nearby Katsina State.
Schools shut in 4 LGAs
In the aftermath of the abduction, Governor Bello had ordered the immediate closure of all the boarding schools in four local government areas of Niger State.
The local government areas are Rafi, Munya, Mariga and Shiroro.
According to him, “We will not rest or sleep until we bring them back to their families.
“Tension is high and the situation is very serious.
“We are saddened by all this development. We have been having attacks before and we have been working to settle it but in these past few days, the attacks have been so daring that they caught our attention. We pray that God will show us the way of getting them back safely.”