BORNO State government has constructed 45 mega schools to cater for the education of children orphaned by Boko Haram insurgency as part of a programme to rehabilitate young people and regenerate the region.
Nigeria currently has the highest number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the world with about 1.7m living in camps dotted around the country, mainly as a result of the Boko Haram crisis. However, the situation has worsened over recent years due to the menace of Fulani cattle herdsmen who have been on the rampage across Nigeria’s Middle Belt, forcing many villagers to flee their farming communities.
With large numbers of children out of school across Borno State due to the crisis, the government has opted to build them schools to enable them receive an education. Alhaji Inuwa Kubo, Borno State education commissioner, said that the schools were established across the 27 local government areas of the state.
Statistics published by the Borno State government indicate that over 53,000 children were orphaned and 50,000 women widowed by the insurgency. Alhaji Kubo said the school-building projects were part of a deliberate policy to enhance access to quality education for orphans and out-of-school children.
He added that the schools were designed with state-of-the-art facilities such as e-learning devices, air condition systems, power generators and other modern educational accessories. Alhaji Kubo explained that meals, uniforms and instructional materials would be provided free to pupils in the schools to create an enabling teaching and learning environment.
Furthermore, the commissioner revealed that the state government would embark on an awareness campaign to mobilise guardians to enrol their wards in the schools. He added that the state government has so far recruited 1,000 teachers to ensure the provision of quality services and sustainability.
Alhaji Kubo said: “Already, we commenced the recruitment of 1,000 teachers and plans are underway to recruit additional teachers for the mega schools. The aim is to engage quality teachers and non-teaching staff for the schools and the government has also adopted proactive measures to ensuring sustainability of the schools.”
While commending humanitarian and development organisations over their support to persons displaced by insurgency, the commissioner called on them to provide scholarships for orphans and vulnerable children to enable them to pursue higher education. He also called on the organisations to provide livelihood support for poor families and sensitise them on the need to enrol their children in school.