Many Schools Shut as Insecurity Disrupts Learning in 4 States

Bandits and other criminals have displaced thousands of students in parts of the North West and North Central and also disrupted the academic calendar of schools, Daily Trust reports.

Findings revealed that the bandits who have killed hundreds of people and dislodged an unspecified number of communities have forced many schools to close and thousands of students to remain at home for months, heightening fears of increased out-of-school children.

Checks in frontline states in the two geopolitical zones – Zamfara, Katsina, Niger, and Kaduna – revealed that while hundreds of students had been kidnapped for ransom, those in charge of education in the affected states are battling to remain afloat to no avail. Some of them have closed all the schools in their domain while others allow those in “relatively safe locations” to go on with academic activities.

Many primary, secondary and tertiary institutions were affected amid fears that students in other states especially in the South would be ahead of their peers in the North if nothing was done to reverse the trend.

Interruptions of academic activities in the states mentioned are now a source of worry to parents, especially those who do not have the means to relocate their wards to safer places.

Sources said bandits are gradually taking over from Boko Haram who wreaked havoc on education especially in the North East from 2009.

Data released by the UNICEF in 2018 showed that more than 600,000 children have lost access to education due to Boko Haram activities during the time under review.

The report said an estimated 2,295 teachers have been killed and over 19,000 others displaced by the conflict, while more than 1,400 schools have been destroyed, damaged or looted.

However, educationists who spoke to Daily Trust said unlike what transpired in the North East, which attracted global attention, there was little or no attention to the damage being done to education in parts of the North West and North Central.

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