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Kaduna govt set to relocate 359 schools over insecurity




The Kaduna State government has disclosed plans to merge a total of 359 schools over incessant activities of bandits which had resulted in cases of abduction and kidnapping in the state.

Speaking at a stakeholders forum and the training of the Schools’ Protection Squad on Wednesday, Governor Uba Sani represented by his Chief of Staff, Sani Kila, said the schools in vulnerable communities would be merged with those in safe locations, as part of measures to safeguard the schools and children from being attacked by bandits.

According to him, the launched school protection squad under the Federal Government’s Safe School Initiative is aimed at securing schools, children, and teachers from all forms of attacks by bandits and terrorists.

While noting that Kaduna is one of the states that has been waging a sustained battle against banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, and other forms of criminality, Kila lamented that the activities of non-state actors, have disrupted socio-economic activities in the affected communities, and are threatening the educational revitalisation programme of the state.

“Kaduna state’s educational system is facing a crisis of declining enrolment, with over 200,000 fewer primary school pupils recorded in the 2022/2023 academic session compared to the previous year. This dramatic drop (from 2,111,969 in 2021/2022 to 1,734,704 in 2022/2023) is largely attributed,” he said.

“In several local government areas (lgas) particularly chikun, birnin gwari, Kajuru, Giwa, and Igabi insecurity has forced school consolidation, further pushing up the number of out-of-school children. Incidents like the kidnapping of 135 students from the Lea Primary and Junior Secondary School, Kuriga, Chikun local government, tragically illustrate the devastating impact of insecurity on education access and safety.”

For more than a decade, Kaduna like other states in the North West zone, has faced severe security challenges orchestrated by bandits and terrorists, including attacks on educational institutions.

However, Kila said he believed that no nation could achieve its human capital development goals, and continue its path towards sustainable development when its schools are threatened by insecurity.

“The theme of this capacity building programme ‘Strengthening Security Resilience and Integration of host Communities in the Protection of Education’ is apt. No nation can achieve its human capital development goals, and in fact make giant developmental strides if it fails to guarantee the safety and security of schools.

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