Reopening Borno schools to cost N702m, says panel

Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima

Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima

Chairman of Borno State committee on the reopening of closed public schools, Alhaji Gambo Gubio, says it will cost the state N702.6m to embark on the reopening as well as the establishment of temporary schools to accommodate more students.

Gubio, who spoke while presenting his report to Governor Kashim Shettima, at the Government House, Maiduguri, said out of 142 identified public schools in Maiduguri metropolis, 15 were serving as camps for over 500, 000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Governor Shettima in his response said that the closure of all public schools on May 16, 2014, was caused by the activities of Boko Haram insurgents, which has led to the death of many and the destruction of property worth billions of Naira.

His words: “Our decision to set up this committee was largely informed by the need to radically reinvigorate the education sector with a view to making it a formidable model of excellence worthy of emulation.

“You may recall our earlier attempt at resuscitating the education system when the Education Quality Assurance Task team was established. However, the work was marred by the extremely complicated and unconventional security challenges we have been experiencing,” the governor stated.

According to him, the closure of public schools, which was necessitated by the security challenges and the abduction of Chibok girls, has visited untold physical and psychological trauma on the students and pupils.

The panel membership includes the state Education Commissioner, Alhaji Musa Inuwa Kubo, Commissioner of Higher Education, Ahmed Usman Jaha, Executive Chairman of UBE, Dr Shettima Kullima, among others.

Gubio during his presentation said that that the committee visited schools occupied by displaced persons on August 26, 2015, said that, “For these schools to be put into affective use; this committee engaged some professionals from the Ministry of Education; who gave an estimate of N1, 461,359,360,000. They carefully studied the submitted estimates and reviewed it to the sum of N702, 573,040.00, which they still doubt if the state government could afford.”

He said the distribution of all students to existing public schools and the possibility of establishing temporary schools in new locations were also been examined. The possible number of schools to be established he pegged at nine with a minimum of 78 classrooms.

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