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Niger Govt. shuts down public secondary schools over insecurity

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

As part of measures to prevent another round of abduction in schools, the Niger State Government has ordered an immediate closure of all public secondary schools to afford security agencies opportunity to carry out risk assessment across the state.

It added that the assessment would afford Niger to have an all-inclusive mechanism and strategies that can assist to restore and guarantee sustainable security as well as safety of students, school infrastructure, education managers, teachers in the State.

The directive was announced on Thursday at an emergency consultative meeting 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 in the State.

Announcing the directives, Commissioner of Education, Hannatu Salihu, explained that the Public secondary schools would be closed for two weeks, between Friday, March 12th and Friday, March 26th, 2021.

According to her, the directive was based on the decision earlier taken during an interface the Ministry had with officials from various Security Agencies in the State.

Although 22 Secondary Schools had earlier been closed, the two weeks closure of all Secondary Schools were necessary to give relevant SecurityAgencies the time and opportunity to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment of all public secondary schools.

The Commissioner, meanwhile, commended education actors, parents, and communities for their patience, understanding, and support in this trying time.

Salihu reiterated the government’s commitment to leave no stone unturned and ensure that all schools are safe environments for effective Teaching and learning.

Therefore, she urged Nigerlites not to relent in their show of solidarity, cooperation and collaboration with the government in this critical task of surmounting security challenges especially the School system.

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