From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri with agency report
The Borno state government said on Monday that it planned to reopen public schools on November 17.
Public schools were closed down on March 14 after deadly attacks by suspected Boko Haram insurgents in schools in neighbouring Yobe.
The chairman of the 19-man committee constituted by the state government on the resuscitation of primary school education, Dr Mohammed Dongel, stated this in an interview with newsmen in Maiduguri.
Dongel said government had already procured chemicals for fumigation of the schools against reptiles and other rodents before the reopening date.
‘‘Other things being equal, public schools will reopen for classes on November 17.
‘‘Governor Kashim Shettima has already approved the procurement of chemicals for the fumigation of the schools against reptiles and other rodents ahead of the reopening,’’ he said.
Dongel, however, said the exercise would only affect primary schools, as secondary schools would remain closed pending when the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) taking refuge in the schools relocated.
‘‘We plan to reopen public secondary schools soon after the primary schools. We are working on plans to relocate the IDPs to two places- the Hajj Camp and the International Conference Centre, Maiduguri, so that the schools will be reopened for classes,’’ he said.
Dongel said the committee had introduced numerous incentives to ensure that students return to schools after the reopening.
‘‘You will agree with me that most parents have been traumatised by insurgents’ attacks on schools.
‘‘Students are also scared due to incessant attacks on schools, so we need to introduce measures for the purpose of encouraging schools’ enrollment and retention,’’ he said.
Dongel said the state government had agreed to provide free school uniforms to all students in public schools to encourage them to stay.
‘‘Government has also introduced free daily meals in all public schools to entice students to stay and procured K-Yan instructional machines for easy teaching and learning in schools.