Parents, Educationists Divided Over Closure Of Schools In Kaduna

Following banditry menace in some parts of the North- West and North-Central, the Kaduna State Government shut down schools in the state. Later, it postponed resumption due to the ongoing military operations against the bandits, all for security reasons. But discordant tunes among experts, parents, educationists and students have continued to trail the development, Daily Trust reports.

The premises of many public schools in Kaduna State have now been taken over by footballers and their fans. They have taken advantage of school closure by the state government to schedule matches on a daily basis. Many clubs commence training from 6:30 am daily and take turns to play their various matches, which in the past only took place during weekends.

Daily Trust gathered that since the Kaduna State Government announced the postponement of school resumption due to the ongoing military operations against bandits in some parts of the North-West and North-Central, youths from different communities now assemble at schools, such as LEA Maiduguri Road; LEA Anguwan Sanusi (1); LEA Chawai Road; LEA Faki Road; Government Junior Secondary School, Kargi Road; LEA Tudun Wada for football matches.

Our correspondent observed that despite the state government’s instruction, schools owned by the Nigeria Police Force, such as command schools and those of the Nigeria Air Force have remained active, a development parents and educationists describe as unfair.

Speaking on the development, the chairman, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Kaduna State chapter, Jafaru Yusuf Yuji, called on the government to check any attempt to violate the directive by some private schools, as well as schools owned by the police and military, saying they were “causing a distortion of the state’s education calendar.”

 

Yuji, who backed the government’s decision to shut down schools during the military operation, said private schools were mostly affected by the activities of bandits, therefore, the association was in support of the government’s action.

“As an association, we have taken a proactive position by advising all our members to adhere to the directive; and we have communicated with the state government to that effect,” he said.

He, however, said the directive on school closure would affect the school calendar because the state would be left behind as the JSCE, WEAC and NECO exams are scheduled to commence soon.

Abdulhaleem Ahmad, a student of Al’itqaan Academy, expressed displeasure that some schools were allowed to flout government instructions while others remained closed.

“I am tired of sitting at home, the school is the only thing that is keeping us busy; we are wasting time at home. Our third term would most likely move into next year while our mates in other states would move ahead of us,” he said.

Daily Trust reports that schools in Kaduna had earlier been scheduled to resume for the third team session within the first week of August, after the Sallah break. However, the state government’s directive would likely disrupt the calendar, which was to begin on Monday, August 9 to October 15, 2021. Last year, schools were shut down during the COVID-19 lockdown for almost seven months, which distorted the state’s academic calendar.

With increased banditry, mostly in the North-West, many schools in Niger, Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna states have become soft targets as bandits abduct students and staff in exchange for ransom.

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