Government officials in Borno State, the troubled region of northeastern Nigeria, have announced the re-opening of all public secondary schools shut down in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency that reached a fever pitch two years ago.
Borno State Commissioner for Education Alhaji Inuwa Kubomade the announcement in Maiduguri while speaking with reporters at a press conference.
The Vanguard Newspaper reports that Kubo revealed that all internally displayed persons (IDPs) occupying school buildings had been relocated to allow for the resumption of academic activities.
“I wish to announce that on Sept. 26th, all public schools are going to be re-opened. I want to state that government has repaired all the structures damaged by the IDPs in the schools, to ensure comfort for the returning students. Parents and guardians should please make sure that they send their children back to school,” he said.
The commissioner then condemned the fact that most of the privately run schools within the state had seized the opportunity of closures to hike up fees and exploit people.
“We understand that some of them have taken undue advantage of the closure to hike school fees; we will not allow the situation to continue.
“We are going to visit the schools to find out how much they are charging and how much they are paying their teachers.”
Borno State has been at the epicentre of the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency that has swept through northeastern Nigeria within the last nine years. The violence has claimed more than 20,000 lives and left millions in the region internally displaced.
In April 2014, Boko Haram militants stormed a secondary school in the village of Chibok in Borno State and abducted more than 200 school girls preparing to write their secondary certificate exams. Now more than two years later, the girls have still not been found.