Primary and secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are set for resumption following intensive clearing operations by the military on criminal hideouts, findings by Daily Trust revealed.
It was learnt that the schools would resume on September 12 amid excitement by parents and children.
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Daily Trust reports that the schools were hurriedly closed by the FCT Administration towards the end of the last session due to a series of attacks on FCT communities by bandits.
The schools were closed on July 27 as against July 30 in the 2021/2022 calendar.
Announcing the closure of the schools, the FCT Education Secretariat, directed school management to end school activities and asked the parents to pick up their wards immediately.
Some of the schools hurriedly finished their third term examinations by asking students to write exams at night to meet the deadline.
Communities confirm the return of peace after massive operations
Daily Trust reports that the attacks on communities, especially the one on the Guards Brigade in Bwari forced major clearing operations on terrorists’ camps in and around the nation’s capital.
After one of the operations, the defence headquarters said troops had successfully cleared Kawu and Ido villages in Bwari Area Councils, neutralising the terrorists and destroying their enclaves and hideouts.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, at the Bi-Weekly news conference on military operations, said troops also eliminated 30 terrorists, who attacked the soldiers in Bwari.
Also, terrorist camps were found and neutralised in the Dei-dei and Kwali areas of the FCT.
The FCT Police Commissioner, Sunday Babaji, also said several security measures have been adopted by the security apparatus in the territory to ensure the safety of schools.
We’re set for resumption-FCTA
Apparently satisfied by the military clearing operations in and around the FCT, the FCT Administration has announced that both private and public primary and secondary schools in the nation’s capital will resume on September 12.
Secretary, FCT Education Secretariat, Sani Dahir El-Katuzu, confirmed the resumption date to Daily Trust yesterday.
He said adequate security measures had been put in place to ensure safe resumption and academic activities.
He, however, downplayed the early closure of schools two days to the last session saying it was not as a result of insecurity as widely reported.
El-Katuzu disclosed that the decision was taken based on certain requests from other stakeholders. He was however silent on the nature of the request.
Meanwhile, parents and private school proprietors have welcomed the decision to reopen the schools on September 12.
The Chairman of the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) in the FCT, Alhaji Abubakar Usman, said the resumption of schools across the FCT is a welcome development that should be applauded.
Usman, however, advised the administration to put in place necessary security measures ahead of the date.
“I believe the resumption is okay but the major concern of parents is that government should assist to provide security across all public schools in the FCT before September 12,” he said.
Olayinka Michael, who lives in Kubwa, Abuja, said she was happy that schools are resuming.
“It is a good thing that our children will soon resume to continue their learning but I am begging the security agencies in Abuja to please secure our children from the hands of these evil people,” he said.
Ma’aruf Ahmad, a parent in Gwarinpa commended President Muhammadu Buhari, ensuring that the order he gave the armed forces and other security agencies had yielded results.
“It has been weeks since we heard of a security breach around the FCT. This is commendable because the evidence is there that serious clearing operations have been conducted.
“I have no iota of doubt that our children would be safe in school. I commend the government and I hope similar operations would be conducted in Niger, Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna and other states with security challenges,” he said.
Another parent, who simply identified himself as Kingsley, called on FCTA to maintain the security posted around schools across the territory, particularly the prone areas.
“They should remain there even though peace has returned. They should not be relocated. This will serve as deterrence to criminals,” he said.
We have internal security measures- proprietors
While welcoming the resumption date, proprietors of private schools in the FCT said the schools now have comprehensive internal security measures to complement those being provided by the government.
Leaders of the schools said such measures would guarantee the safety of the students during school hours.
Mrs Janet Afogunla, the proprietor of Legacy Academy in Abaji, said her school has adequate internal security since it is a private school, saying she is always ready to resume school whenever the government announces the date.
“As a private school owner, I have my internal security arrangements in the school. And any day the government announces resumption day, we will resume,” she said.
Mrs Chiamaka Chidi, a proprietor of Aunty Amaka Nursery/Primary School in Abaji, also said her school is ready for resumption.
She said there were security measures already adopted by the school.
A school proprietor in Kubwa, Mrs Ikechukwu Gloria, said she was ready for the resumption of her pupils, adding that adequate measures would be put in place to ensure their safety.
“Students need to continue learning. I commend the FCTA for fixing September 12 as the resumption date. If they stay at home for long, it won’t be nice because they may forget what they have been taught. In my schools, we are already putting measures in place to beef up security as the government cannot do it alone,” she said.
Another school proprietor, Chuks Innocent said: “In my school, we would work with security operatives in the FCT and local vigilantes to make sure that students and pupils are not attacked. We have been doing this and it is working for us. By God’s grace, we have not had any incidents here and we will not have.”
A head teacher at the LEA primary school in Kuje, Mr Stephen Ayuba, said he has received information about the school resumption on September 12, adding that the school is ready,
“In my school, we have internal security but the government should also put their own in place to complement the internal security before September 12, which is the resumption date,” he said.
By Hussein Yahaya, Abubakar Sadiq Isah & Seun Adeuyi