Only a few students and teachers have resumed school in Kaduna State despite the government’s approval for schools to reopen from September 12, 2021.
DAILY POST reports that as of the second day of resumption, the number was still very low across the 23 local governments of the state.
However, the state Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Shehu Makarfi, announced during a virtual workshop organised by the Education Writers’ Association of Nigeria that the resumption would be in phases.
“The first term will resume on September 12, 2021, and they will be in school until December 16, 2021. The SS1 and SS2 students from five local government areas, which are affected by the crisis, will be moved to some boarding schools,” he said.
But, parents of children in the state jettisoned the arrangements, describing it as “a decision hurriedly made without security arrangements.”
Many who spoke to DAILY POST blamed poor attendance of students and teachers on fear of bandit attacks as there are no proper security arrangements and lack of interest on the part of some parents to enrol their wards in Kaduna schools.
Recall that primary and post-primary schools across the state were shut down after several kidnap, killings and payments for ransom by parents of kidnapped school children.
Scores of Bethel Baptist School students were kidnapped on Monday, July 8, 2021, with millions of naira paid in ransom. While some were released in batches, others are still in the kidnappers’ dens to date.
On May 28, 2021, 14 students of Greenfield University were Kidnapped. Four were killed after their parents paid a huge ransom before the remaining ones were released.
On March 11, 2021, 37 students of the Federal School of Forestry, Afaka Mando, were Kidnapped. Five were released in batches, parents paid huge sums of money as ransom before they were finally released after spending over seven weeks in captivity.
Based on the horror, pains, and suffering parents and their kidnapped children went through at the hands of kidnappers, they assumed the government is playing politics with their children and vowed never to allow them in school if proper security arrangements are not put in place.
Many parents have vowed to take their children to school outside Kaduna State. Others, currently send their children to learn vocations such as tailoring, motor mechanic, carpentry, woodwork, driving, baking, soap making among other businesses.
They see schools across Kaduna state as a no go area due to security threats.
Alhaji Mohammed Bulama told DAILY POST in Kaduna on Tuesday that since his daughter was a victim of kidnappers in Federal School of Forestry, Afaka, he was discouraged from sending any of his children to school in the state.
“When my daughter was kidnapped from the Federal School of Forestry, I knew what I went through. I borrow, sell my properties to pay the ransom demanded. I cannot make any mistake sending any of my children to Kaduna schools again,” he said.
According to him, since the state government closed down the school due to security challenges, “what efforts has it made to improve security challenges? Were there no more kidnapping, killings of innocent souls in the state? Since the schools were closed down, has the government deployed more security personnel, is there security improvement?”
Dr Moses Jumare Ayuba who said he took his children outside the state to a more secure environment wondered what might befall on students as they resumed this Monday.
According to him, the state government has not made any pronouncement regarding the security arrangements, only to announce schools’ resumption date.
“It’s only those who are eagerly waiting to send their wards to Kaduna schools, that will hastily allow their children.
“As far as I am concerned, nothing showed security improvement in schools within the Kaduna metropolis, not to even talk about bandits prone areas. Our children are not goats and animals. As a parent, I am yet to comprehend security arrangements in the state.” He said.