The Borno Government said on Monday that it would reopen all public schools on November 17th which were closed down early in the year due to security concerns.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the schools were shut on March 14th, after deadly attacks by the Boko Haram on schools in neighboring Yobe.
Mohammed Dongel, the chairman of the 19-man committee on the resuscitation of primary school education in the state, told NAN in Maiduguri that measures to safeguard the schools had been adopted.
He also said the government had taken extra measures to encourage pupils to return and ensure friendly atmosphere for teaching and learning.
“All things being equal, public schools will reopen for classes on November 17th.
“Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno has already approved the procurement of chemicals for the fumigation of the schools against reptiles and other rodents ahead of the reopening,” he said.
Dongel, however, said only primary schools would be reopened, while secondary schools would remain closed until the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) taking refuge in the schools were relocated.
“We plan to reopen public secondary schools soon after the primary schools.
“We are working on plans to relocate the IDPs to two places- the Hajj Camp and the International Conference Centre, Maiduguri, so that the schools will be reopened for classes,’’ he said.
According to him, the committee has introduced incentives to ensure that students return to school.
“You will agree with me that most parents have been traumatised by insurgents’ attacks on schools.
“Students have also been scared due to incessant attacks on schools, so we need to introduce measures for the purpose of encouraging schools’ enrollment and retention.”
He said some of the measures included the provision of free uniforms and feeding to all students in public schools.
“Government has also introduced free daily-meals in all public schools to entice students to stay,” he said, adding that modern instructional materials have been procured to ease teaching and learning.
“We are trying to introduce e-learning in primary schools to transform our education system into a world class one.”
Dongel said that government had also introduced new security measures to ensure safe environment for teaching and learning.
“We have introduced perimeter fencing in all public schools to ensure maximum security, we have also increased the number of security men in schools to ensure 24-hour surveillance.”
Dongel said that the government was also working in partnership with local vigilante group – the Civilian JTF – to enhance security in schools.