Posted by Cephas Iorhemen, Makurdi | 14 June 2019 | 1,138 times
At least 200, 000 students in post-primary institutions alongside 1, 000 teachers are reported to have been displaced as a result of armed Fulani militant attacks in Benue State.
The militants also destroyed 20 out of 64 government-owned post-primary schools across the three senatorial districts of the state.
The Executive Secretary of the Benue State Teaching Service Board (TSB), Dr. Wilfred Uji, who disclosed this to journalists in an interview in his office in Makurdi, the state capital, said the state required about N1 billion from the Federal Government as intervention to fix facilities destroyed by the insurgents and rehabilitate affected teachers to enable affected students settle down for normal academic work.
Dr. Uji who lamented the degree of devastation the invasion caused the educational sector in the state, explained that areas worst hit are Agatu in Agatu Local Government Area as well as Udei, Gbajimba, Torkula, all in Guma Local Government Areas and Gwer East, Logo, Ukum and Katsina-Ala Local Government Areas respectively.
“In one instance, the herdsmen wrote a letter to the Principal of Community Secondary School, Tongov, in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area, and the man died later.”
Prof. Uji decried that the future of children displaced by the attack is bleak, as according to him, “it will take the state and other parts of Northern Nigeria more than 100 years to catch up with the rest of country educationally.”
The TSB helmsman further observed that the North accounts for over 80 per cent illiteracy rate, adding that there are over 5 million school drop outs in the region.
“There is no future for our children educationally. Urgent intervention is needed to restore confidence in the system. We should stop playing politics. In the next 100 years, we will still find ourselves quarrelling over the issue of education.”
“The North is the one marginalising itself. The Northerners, especially the President should wake up and stabilise the educational system in that region.”
He said the Governor Samuel Ortom administration had in the interim, erected temporary classroom structures, provided other instructional facilities, while volunteer teachers have also been receruited to help to teach the children while feeding of the children has also been taken care of.
Uji disclosed that the wage bill of the board has dropped from over N600 million to N500 million following the retirement of more than 500 teachers and death of over 100, stressing that the state require 5,000 teachers to replace those ones.
He called on the Federal Government to establish Secondary Schools Commission such as National Universities Commission (NUC), Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and National Board of Technical Education (NBTE) to regulate the activities of secondary schools in the country. (New Telegraph)
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