FILE PHOTO - Personal items of one of the students from JSS Jangebe school are seen on the bed, a day after over 300 school girls were abducted by bandits, in Zamfara, Nigeria February 27, 2021. REUTERS-Afolabi Sotunde

Following the reopening of four boarding schools in Katsina State, civil society organizations (CSOs) in the state have called for the immediate provision of adequate security to schools across the state for efficient and effective learning.

The state Chairman of CSOs, Mr. Abdulrrahaman Abdullahi, disclosed this while reacting to the reopening of the four boarding schools hitherto closed by the state government after the abduction of 344 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kagara, Niger State.

The Commissioner for Education, Prof. Badamasi Lawal, had on Sunday announced the reopening of the four boarding schools after meeting with zonal inspectors of education and permanent secretaries in the education sector.

He listed the four boarding schools to be reopen on March 2, 2021 to include the Command Secondary School, Faskari; Government Girls Command Secondary School, Barkiya; Command Secondary School, Musawa; and Police Secondary School, Mani.

The commissioner explained that male students in the remaining boarding schools are to report to the nearest secondary school in their location to continue with their studies, while female students are to remain at home until the security situation in the state improves.

But Abdullahi while reacting to the development in a telephone interview with newsmen Monday, challenged government to beef up security across the state to avert the reoccurrence of the Kagara school scenario.

He, however, lamented that there are boarding students who do not have Day Secondary Schools closer to their places of abode, saying the delay in deciding the fate of female boarding students might also lead to an upsurge in the numbers of out-of-school children in the state.

He reiterated that shutting down boarding schools could be dangerous for the educational system “because it shows that the government has accepted defeat. And if the bandits succeeded in that, who knows what they would target tomorrow”.

He said: “What will happen to those boarding students who don’t have Day Secondary Schools near their communities? What of the girls students whose fate are yet to be decided? The delay, without proper arrangements may lead to increased number of dropouts in the state and affect the education system in general.

“The Command schools should in a normal circumstance be opened because if schools belonging to military formations can be closed for the fear of attacks, that could be a sign of complete failure in our security system.

“For the state owned boarding schools, it’s okay to have them closed for now till adequate security measures have been put in place. But that should be expedited to enable all students resume their academic activities because even with this arrangement, many students were left out.

“Government should focus attention on providing adequate security for the state. This will make the parents feel comfortable and ready for sending their children back to schools when they are reopened.”

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