ABDULLAHI ISAH, Maiduguri
Borno State government, Monday, re-opened all Day secondary schools within the state, following the military success in the fight against insurgents in the Northeast and the gradual restoration of peace back to the state.
It would be recalled that public schools in Borno state were closed on May 16, 1014 shortly after the abduction of the Chibok schools girls by Boko Haram terrorists on April 14th 2014 and also because the state government had severally shifted the reopening of the schools due to its inability to relocate the internally displaced persons camped in some of those schools within Maiduguri.
The Borno state commissioner for education, Hon. Musa Inuwa Kubo who went round some schools to assess the turnout of both the students and their teacher said very soon the doors of the boarding schools will be opened for academic activities when the challenges of displaced persons is surmounted.
He said the challenges of relocation of IDPs from schools and the relative insecurity in some parts of the state have made the government to merge three or four schools together on a facility to enable for the commencement of classes.
Hon. Inuwa Kubo said government has aggressively sensitized parents before the reopening of the schools on the need to allow their children resume with others.
He said it was too early in the day to agree that the students may have shunned classes as it was the first day of resumption, noting that the government will continue to undertake sensitization campaign to encourage the students to return back to school.
The commissioner stated that the state government will put in place all needed machinery to surmount challenges of merging the schools.
He, however, said mock examination would be administered on final year students to ascertain those capable of writing the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) examinations.
He said only those who are able to obtain minimum requirements in the mock examinations will be allowed to sit for WAEC and NECO.
When our correspondent visited some of the schools within Maiduguri metropolis, it was discovered that virtually all of them re-opened with academic activities going on, but with low turnout of students.
Some of the students at the Mafoni Government Day Secondary School who spoke to our correspondent on the reopening, said they were happy that it finally came as they were psychologically affected by the long closure and their inactivity.
One of the students, Mohammed Umar, an SSS II student applauded Governor Kashim Shettima for issuing a directive for the reopening of the schools, describing the issue as a welcome development.
He said he was ready to put in more effort which will prepare him for the final SSCE or NECO examinations, insisting that during the long closure he had been attending extra-mural lessons.
The principal of the school, Hajiya Hadiza Abba-Aji said she was glad that the school was finally reopened as it was disheartening to wake up daily without anything to do.
She said: “Now we can wake up daily to the challenges of justifying our salary and working at building the future leaders of our country which is why some of us chose this noble profession.”
She however admitted that they have great challenges ahead but insisted that where there is a will there is a way and the teachers will work hard at turning out great students under the present conditions.