Insecurity: Niger Shuts Public Schools

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By Laleye Dipo

As a result of the heightening cases of insecurity in Niger State, the state government has said that it will close all public schools with effect from Friday March 12, 2021.

It said the closure of the schools will be for two weeks.

The decision, according to a reliable source, was taken at the state executive council meeting held at the Council Chambers of the Government House on Wednesday with Governor Abubakar Sani Bello presiding.

A statement from the Ministry of Education signed by the Information Officer, Jibrin Usman Kodo, which confirmed the closure of the schools, explained that the policy was necessary “to give relevant security agencies the time and opportunity to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment of all
public secondary Schools in the state”.

According to the statement, “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, teachers in the state.”

The document, a copy of which was made available to THISDAY, said a meeting had been held earlier with
the leadership of the Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Association of Model Islamic Schools (AMIS), Executive Chairman, Niger State Universal Basic Education Board (NSUBEB), Heads of Education Agencies, Directors of the Ministry
and other stakeholders of the education sector in the state.

The statement emphasised government’s commitment to leave
no stone unturned and ensure that all schools are safe environments for effective teaching and learning before urging the people of the state not to relent in their show of solidarity,
cooperation and collaboration with the government in this critical task of surmounting security challenges especially in the school system.

Not less than 22 schools (11 day schools and 11 boarding schools) were closed in the wake of the kidnap of 42 persons, 27 of them students from the Government Science College, Kagara .

These schools are located in bandit-attack prone local governments of Rafi, Mariga, Munya and Shiroro.