Six weeks after Kagara abduction, Niger govt suspends boarding schools in rural areas

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Six weeks after Kagara abduction, Niger govt suspends boarding schools in rural areas



The Niger State government has suspended boarding schools in the rural areas of the state to avert further abduction of students by bandits.
The state’s Commissioner of Education, Hannatu Salihu, said this in a statement she issued on Tuesday.
Mrs Salihu said the decision was reached at a management meeting with directors of the ministry, zonal directors of Quality Assurance, and heads of agencies.
“All public day secondary schools are to reopen today, March 29, 2021, all boarding secondary schools in urban areas are to reopen on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.
‘‘Public day secondary schools in areas of high risk that would run in clusters with selected safe schools in nearby communities would reopen on a later date to be announced after adequate arrangements are concluded,” she said.
“Students from other communities in the boarding schools that would operate as day schools would be moved to other boarding/day secondary schools in their localities.”
The commissioner stated that all principals have been provided with specific details in respect of the arrangements as they are expected to work in collaboration with their zonal directors to ensure compliance in light of the demands of current security realities.
“To this end, Hajiya Hannatu directed that every school must form a formidable security team, consisting of school officials, security personnel, PTA, SBMC and Vigilante with active community participation to allow for a strong security presence in and around the schools” she declared.
She added that principals are expected to ensure strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols by guaranteeing the compulsory wearing of face masks, sanitizing of hands and maintaining social distancing among others.
She said the government had closed the schools for two weeks to enable it conduct a risk assessment, after which it decided to improve security in the schools.
The reopening arrangement comes six weeks after scores of students and staff were abducted by gunmen in Government Science College in Kagara, Rafi local government area of the state.
The state governor declared the closure of all boarding schools in Rafi and three other neighbouring local government areas the following day.The students and the staff kidnapped were later released after ten days in captivity.

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