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Insecurity; Katsina Schools To Reopen After Emergency Closure

Several schools in Katsina state, on Monday, resumed academic activities following a directive that schools in the state should reopen after a vacation occasioned by security challenges in the state. 

 The state government ordered the closure of all schools last December shortly after 344 students of Government Science School, Kankara were abducted by bandits. 

 Although the students were later released by their abductors, the government directed the indefinite closure of all schools in the state for the safety of the students. 

 The state government last Friday directed the schools to reopen on Monday. Exempted from the government directive were boarding schools. 

 A circular signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Musa Abdu Dankama dated January 19, 2021, and issued on Tuesday night contained the directive. 

 Investigation on Monday revealed that many schools with the exemption of boarding schools reopened in line with the government directive.

 Attendance in some of the schools was below average although students resumed as early as 8am and observed all the COVID-19 protocols. 

 At Government Junior Comprehensive School, Kofar Yandaka, classes resumed immediately although the majority of the students were yet to resume at 8.45am when our Correspondent left the school. 

 The school principal, Mallam Ibrahim Abubakar, however, said 70 per cent of the students had already reported. He added that the school had also set up an eight-man security committee to ensure the safety of the students and staff. 

 Abubakar added, ”As directed, the school management had set up a security committee and members have met to put up some strategies to ensure the safety of the students and staff. Classes have also commenced in earnest.” 

 At a government school for the blind also in Katsina, the principal, Mallam Lawal Jibril said the school management had, in addition to other measures, put up an isolation centre to take care of the students found to be infected with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The headmistress of Gobarau Academy, also in Katsina, Hajya Rukie-Sali Yusuf counselled parents to be at alert and more security conscious. 

 Although she revealed that the school had also set up a security committee as directed by the government, she counselled parents to always drop effective contact numbers to the school authority and introduce who is saddled with the responsibility of picking up their children. 

 Hajiya Yusuf said, “At our school here, we have complied with all the directives given by the state government including setting up of a security committee. I will, however, advise parents to always be security conscious on issues concerning their children. 

"They should provide reachable phone numbers to the school authority and introduce whoever is saddled with the responsibility of picking their children from school to the school authority. 

"They should also ensure that the children eat at home before coming to school and provide them with their own water bottle and cutleries so that the children would not share all these with their mates. 

"They should also be extra careful especially during this cold season when flu and illnesses associated with harmattan are transmitted. 

"importantly, parents should be more prayerful, although we shall continue to do our best to protect the children.” 

 A visually impaired JSS 3 student at the school for the blind, Animatu Bashiru said she was happy to be back at school after the vacation. 

 She said, ”I am happy to be back although I kept myself busy by reading my books throughout the holiday.”

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