From John Adams, Minna
Niger government, yesterday, ordered the immediate closure of all public and private schools beginning from today owing to spate of attacks by bandits on several communities.
The decision was taken at the state executive council meeting presided by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello.
The decision followed a meeting held with the leadership of the 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, Directors of the Ministry and other stakeholders of the education sector on security challenges in the state.
Commissioner for Education, Hannatu Jibrin Salihu, in a statement said the schools would be shut down for two weeks to enable relevant security agencies conduct a comprehensive risk assessment on all public secondary schools in the state.
“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. The state will leave no stone unturned and ensure that all schools are safe environments for effective teaching and learning,” Salihu said.
She urged 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.”
The state had earlier ordered the closure of all boarding schools in four local government areas of Rafi, Mariga, Munya and Shiroro where frequent attacks by bandits had posed severe threats to lives of students.
Twenty-two schools, comprising 11 day schools and 11 boarding schools, were closed in the wake of the kidnap of 42 persons, 27 of them students from Government Science College, Kagara.