THE Adamawa State government has resolved to shut down 30 of the 34 junior secondary boarding schools in the state until further notice.
The decision became necessary due to the state of insecurity in the state.
According to a statement issued by the Commissioner of Education and Human Capital Development Wilbina Jackson, the directive would take effect from September 6, 2021.
She described the action as a proactive measure to ensure the safety of the students, considering the rising cases of banditry and multiple kidnappings of school children across states, especially in the North.
The only schools excluded from the state government’s decision are: Government Girls Junior Secondary School, Yola; General Murtala Mohammed College, Yola; Special School Jada, and Special School, Mubi.
The statement read: “The Hon. Commissioner Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, wishes to announce that 30 boarding junior secondary schools out of the 34 schools in the state have been de-boarded with effect from 6th September 2021. From now henceforth, all the 30 government junior secondary schools are now day schools.
“The remaining four that are not affected are Government Girls Junior Secondary School Yola, General Murtala Mohammed College Yola, Special School Jada, and Special School Mubi.
“This becomes necessary due to the present incessant security challenges faced by the country and owing to students’ tender age, hence the need for them to study under the care of their parents.”
However, the commissioner advised students of the affected schools to continue their learning activities in the nearest public junior secondary schools within their catchment or domicile areas.
“Stakeholders, Parents and Teachers Association (PTA), All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) and others are to ensure compliance with this government policy,” the statement added.
The country as a whole has witnessed a serious state of insecurity. It is worse in the northern states where there are cases of banditry, kidnapping, aside the decade-long case Boko Haram insurgency.
In October 2019, gunmen kidnaped six persons in Adamawa State. In Zamfara State, about 300 students from the Government Science Secondary School, Jangebe, were kidnapped but later released.
According to a BBC report, close to 600 students have been abducted since December 2020, though some have been rescued while others were released after paying ransoms.
The ICIR, as of the time of filing this report, could not reach the state commissioner for information.
Former Commissioner of Environment for Hamaji Bulus admitted that cases of banditry had been on the increase.
He told The ICIR that the security situation in Adamawa had mostly affected local communities and not the entire state.