THE Kaduna State government has ordered the immediate closure of 13 schools in the state over rising cases of kidnapping of students.
The directive was contained in a letter signed by the Director-General of Kaduna State Schools Quality Assurance Authority Umma K. Ahmed, titled ‘Notice of Closure of Some Identified Vulnerable Schools’ dated July 5, 2021.
The letter was sent to proprietors of the concerned schools.
The Kaduna State government said the decision was part of resolutions reached at a meeting with the National Association of Proprietors of Private schools (NAPPS) and some key stakeholders.
“Sequel to the information reaching the Authority on the security threat at the Bethel Baptist High school, Damishi, a meeting was held on Monday 5th July, 2021 with the resolution that the following schools should close with effect from Monday 5 July, 2021,” parts of the letter read.
The schools listed included: Faith Academy, along Kachia Road adjacent to Jakaranda, Deeper Life Academy Maraban Rido, ECWA Secondary school Ungwar Maje, Bethel Baptist High School Damishi, St. Peters Minor Seminary Katari and Prelude Secondary School Kujama.
Others were: Ibiso Secondary school Tashar Iche, Tulip International (Boys) School, Tulip international (Girls) School, Goodnews Secondary School, St. Augustine kujama, Comprehensive Development Institution and Adventist College, Kujama (CDI), Tudun Mare.
The schools were directed to adhere to the notice of closure as appropriate sanctions would be meted out to schools found wanting for non-compliance.
Insecurity in Kaduna schools
In 2020, the Kaduna State government had threatened parents to send their children to school or risk going to jail. However, schools in the state have become largely unsafe due to series of attacks by bandits and terrorists.
The governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai has also been forced to withdraw his son from a public school in the state.
On Monday, some terrorists attacked Bethel Baptist School in Maraban Rido, a community in Chikun Local Government Area where over 100 students were said to have been abducted.
Although the police said it rescued 27 of them in a combined operation with the Nigerian Navy and Army, the fate of the other children remained unknown.
Schools attacked in the state included: primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
Earlier in April, gunmen had kidnapped students from Green Field University in Kaduna State. The abduction occurred two months after the kidnapping of 39 students from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Kaduna State, on March 12.
A report released in 2020 by the Universal Basic Education Personnel Audit on Kaduna State disclosed that there were over 500,000 out of school children in the state.
According to the report, out of the 2,425,560 children between the ages of 6 – 11years, an estimated number of 524,670 are out of school.
Beyond attacks on schools, terrorists have also attacked civilians in the state, kidnapping some and killing others in the process.