Banditry: Kaduna Govt Suspends Schools Resumption Indefinitely

A file photo pf a school in Kaduna State.

 

The Kaduna State government has suspended the resumption of schools across local governments of the state until further notice.

Addressing a stakeholders’ meeting on Monday, Governor Nasir El-Rufai explained that the government took the decision due to the ongoing aggressive military operation against bandits in most parts of the state.

He informed the meeting attended by members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), as well as professional and community-based associations that the operation was aimed at flushing the bandits out from their hideouts.

Governor El-Rufai added that the government was committed to protecting vulnerable children from being attacked by fleeing bandits who were already feeling the superior firepower of the military.

He revealed that the military has deployed more troops to the state for the operation and warned the residents to be vigilant and mindful of unknown faces in their midst, saying fleeing bandits might infiltrate their communities.

READ ALSO: 10 Media Organisations Accredited, Others Barred From Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial

In his remarks, NMA Chairman in Kaduna, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, asked the Federal Government to licence the use of firearms for profiled citizens.

He stated that this was necessary to enable the people to protect themselves from being attacked by bandits since the security forces cannot be everywhere.

Sokomba believes licensing of firearms for citizens has become expedient due to the constant kidnapping of many people, including health workers.

A gender-based activist, Asma Mirza, who was also present at the meeting, stressed the need to deploy technology to the various flashpoints, including the forests and highways.

Kidnapping and banditry have become fast-growing organised crimes in Kaduna and some parts of the north-west region – posing a major security threat for the people.

Hardly will a week pass by without sad stories of abduction of innocent citizens, including children, young, and old people by the marauding bandits.

Amid tension in which farmers have been forced to abandon their farms, some secondary schools and a tertiary institution were attacked by bandits recently in Kaduna.

But some of the schools have employed local vigilantes armed with local weapons – an action that has often proved ineffective against the heavily armed bandits.

DR Congo City Closes Schools, Markets After Weekend Bombs

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as DR Congo, the DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as DR Congo, the DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa

 

The eastern DR Congo city of Beni on Monday closed its schools, markets and churches for 48 hours after three bomb attacks over the weekend sparked fears of further violence.

The attacks included the first targeting a Catholic Church building and the first suicide bombing in the region, which has declared a “state of siege” after a string of massacres carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia.

Beni Mayor Narcisse Muteba announced a curfew late Sunday, saying that “everyone should go inside because we have information that something else is being planned”.

On Monday Muteba ordered all schools, churches and markets closed for two days.

“I don’t want to see any crowds, but we are calling on everyone to remain calm,” he said in a statement.

Muteba, a police colonel who replaced the city’s civilian leader a few weeks ago, also asked that anyone wanting to enter Beni carry their identity papers.

The measures come after a makeshift bomb went off in a Catholic church in Beni on Sunday morning, injuring two women, followed just hours later by a suicide bombing outside a bar.

The day before, a bomb exploded next to a petrol station on the outskirts of Beni without causing any damage.

The army said that the suicide bomber was “a Ugandan citizen who went by the name Ngudi Abdallah, and was very active alongside his leader, the sinister Amigo,” an ADF commander.

The army asked Beni residents to “report any suspicious movement, to dissociate themselves from the armed groups and to rally behind the armed forces”.

– ‘Boom’ –

The attack at the church in predominantly Catholic Beni took place just an hour before a children’s confirmation ceremony was due to be held.

“I had just entered the church, I hadn’t even managed to sit down, I heard ‘boom’… Blood started flowing from my mouth,” one of the women wounded in the blast, Antoinette Kavira, told AFP from her hospital bed.

Beni is in the North Kivu province, one of two regions that President Felix Tshisekedi placed under a “state of siege” on May 6 in a bid to clamp down on militia violence.

The ADF is the deadliest of an estimated 122 armed militias that roam the mineral-rich east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, many of them a legacy of two regional wars that ran from 1996 to 2003.

Historically a Ugandan Islamist group, it has holed up in eastern DRC since 1995.

The ADF is accused of having killed 6,000 people since 2013, according to the Catholic episcopate.

And the Kivu Security Tracker monitor says it has killed more than 1,200 civilians in the Beni area alone since 2017.

In March, the United States said the ADF was linked to the Islamic State group.

AFP

School Attack: Three Teachers Abducted, No Pupil Missing – Kaduna Govt

A combination of file photos of the map of Kaduna State and a gun recovered from crime suspects.

 

Bandits have abducted three teachers from a primary school in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of the state.

The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs in the state, Samuel Aruwan, disclosed this on Monday while giving an update on the incident.

He, however, noted that no pupil was kidnapped or declared missing after a headcount was conducted.

As of the time when the news of the attack broke, it was reported that an unknown number of pupils and teachers were feared missing.

The latest attack followed the attempts by bandits to attack three schools in the state – at the secondary and tertiary levels.

While the military successfully thwarted the attacks on the Turkish International Secondary School and Government Science Secondary School in Ikara, bandits kidnapped some students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Afaka.

The school came under attack very early on Friday, not long after bandits attempted to attack the Turkish school.

However, military operatives promptly arrived at the scene, leading to the rescue of 180 people comprising 132 male students, 40 female students, and eight civilian staff members of the school.

Thereafter, the authorities in Kaduna said 39 students, comprising 23 female and 16 male students were still missing.

A day after the attack, soldiers brought the rescued students to the school to pick their belongings while the school authorities asked all students to vacate the premises.

But a disturbing video surfaced on Saturday, in which the abducted college students called for help.

In the clip published by Channels Television, the students were seen being beaten by their captors, as they pleaded with the government to rescue them.

They were seen huddled together and sitting on tree leaves, with gun-wielding men, some of them dressed in military uniform, keeping watch over them.

Portugal To Close Schools For 15 Days Over COVID-19

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa gives a press conference at Sao Bento Palace in Lisbon on January 21, 2021.Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)

 

Portugal said Thursday it will close schools for two weeks in a bid to contain a surge in coronavirus cases with concerns over the spread of a more contagious UK strain.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa said the closures will begin Friday, speaking after a cabinet meeting just a week after the government imposed a second lockdown that did not require shutting schools or universities.

“Precaution requires us to interrupt all teaching activities for the next 15 days,” Costa said, adding that the decision had become necessary because of “this new strain and the speed of its transmission.”

READ ALSO: US Resumes WHO Support, Launches $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Plan

Portugal has this week been breaking daily records in virus death tolls, with an extra 221 fatalities in 24 hours announced Thursday by the national health authorities.

After having hit Wednesday a record 14,647 new infections in one day, the country of around 10 million people registered 13,544 cases on Thursday.

The explosion in new infections is mainly the result of the spread of the British strain, which is much more contagious than original novel coronavirus.

“There is a sharp increase with this variant,” the prime minister said, adding it now accounted for 20 percent of infections and could make up 60 percent of them as soon as next week.

Rivers Govt Directs Schools To Reopen On Monday

A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

 

The Rivers State government has directed private and public schools in the state to reopen on Monday.

This was announced by the Permanent Secretary at the Rivers State Ministry of Education, Chidi Adiele, in a statement on Sunday.

According to Adiele, all schools in Rivers are to resume academic activities on January 4 for the completion of the first term academic session.

He explained that the directive was issued with the approval of the state governor, Nyesom Wike, in line with the school calendar published in August 2020.

The government, however, warned the schools to maintain all COVID-19 protocols, including the wearing of face masks and the use of hand sanitisers.

It also asked them to introduce staggered classes for morning and afternoon in order to avoid overcrowding of the schools.

Read the full statement below:

RIVERS STATE GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

Press Release

The Ministry of Education wishes to announce that, with the approval of His Excellency Governor Nyesom Wike, the school calendar published in August 2020 stands.

Accordingly, both public and private schools in the State are hereby reminded that schools will resume on 4th January 2021 for normal academic activities.

Schools are to maintain all COVID-19 Protocols, including the wearing of face masks, use of hand sanitisers, and staggered classes/ morning and afternoon sessions in order to avoid overcrowding.

The Ministry wishes all pupils, students, parents, and guardians the very best of the year.

SIGNED:

Sir Chidi Adiele

Permanent Secretary

Ministry of Education

Kankara Kids: Shehu Sani Advises Govt On How To Protect Schools In The North

Shehu Sani Decries Bandits' Activities In Kaduna, Three Other States
A file photo of Senator Shehu Sani.

 

A former lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani, has advised authorities in Nigeria on how to protect schools in the northern part of the country.

He gave the recommendations via his Twitter handle on Saturday in the wake of the recent abduction of hundreds of students from the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State.

Senator Sani, who represented Kaduna Central district, called for the abolition of boarding schools in the rural areas of the region.

He also advised that students and teachers in the schools should be properly trained on what to do and how to attend to emergency security situations when such arise.

READ ALSO: ‘How I Became President’, Buhari Inspires Kankara Boys To Return To School

The activist believes the establishment of a special security unit for schools in the North will go a long way in ensuring the security of students and their teachers.

He also suggested that perimeter walls should be built around the schools, and the installation of CCTV cameras and alarm systems should be encouraged.

In other tweets, Senator Sani noted the release of the schoolboys abducted in Katsina – after spending about one week in captivity.

He, however, faulted those he said were taking credit for the success when nobody has taken responsibility for the failure in Zabarmari in Borno State where over 40 farmers were massacred by Boko Haram insurgents.

The activist stressed the need for leaders to look beyond party lines and political affiliations and promote national unity, insisting that the country was at war with terror.

Kankara Abduction: Kano Govt Shuts Schools, Health Institute

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje speaks during the State Executive Council meeting at the Government House on October 6, 2020.

 

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has ordered the immediate closure of all public and private schools in the state.

The Kano State Commissioner of Education, Sanusi Kiru, who disclosed this to Channels Television on Tuesday evening, said the state government also closed down “all public and private health training institutions, including schools of basic/postbasic nursing and midwifery, schools of health technology and school of hygiene with immediate effect.”

The commissioner asked parents whose children are in boarding schools to pick them on Wednesday.

“His Excellency, The Executive Governor of Kano State has approved the closure of all public and Private Schools in the State with immediate effect,” he said.

“Parents whose children are in boarding schools are to also arrange and convey their children/ wards back home from tomorrow, Wednesday, 16th December 2020.”

Although the state government did not give the reason for the immediate closure, it is believed to be connected to the abduction of 333 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in neighbouring Katsina State on Friday night.

READ ALSO: Like Kaduna, Jigawa Govt Orders Closure Of Schools Over Rising COVID-19 Cases

Following the unfortunate incident, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack, in what appears to be a major expansion of the jihadist group’s activities into new areas.

“I am Abubakar Shekau and our brothers are behind the kidnapping in Katsina,” the leader of Boko Haram said in a voice message.

More than 100 gunmen on motorcycles stormed the rural school north of Kankara town, forcing students to flee and hide in the surrounding bush.

The immediate closure of the schools comes three days to the end of the third term as schools in Kano were expected to vacate on Friday, December 18.

   Katsina Parents Keep Vigil 

Meanwhile, the parents of the abducted GSSS, Kankara students have converged on the premises of the school patiently waiting for their children to return as promised by the government.

Their gathering is coming less than one week after the abduction took the nation by surprise.

The parents have also been recounting their experiences as they continue to hope for the return of their children.

Speaking to Channels Television, two of the parents said they couldn’t sleep, adding that they will continue to be spending the night at the school until their children are rescued safely.

Upon arrival at the school gate on Tuesday, Channels Television discovered that the Ƙanƙara school is located at the centre of a bush leading to some scattered settlements some of which are Zango and Dansabau in Zamfara border axis.

It also gathered that besides the school fence is a busy road leading to Ƙanƙara weekly Tuesday Market with daily business activities on the increase.

Like Kaduna, Jigawa Govt Orders Closure Of Schools Over Rising COVID-19 Cases

A file photo of a Jigawa map.
A file photo of the map of Jigawa, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

The Jigawa State government has announced the closure of public and private primary and secondary schools across the state.

It directed that the schools should be closed with immediate effect from Tuesday following the increasing cases of coronavirus in the country.

The acting Permanent Secretary at the State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Rabiu Adamu, made the announcement in a statement released to reporters in Dutse, the state capital.

He advised parents and guardians to prepare for the evacuation of their children and wards back home from Wednesday, especially those in boarding schools.

READ ALSO: COVID- 19: Kaduna Shuts Schools Over Spike In Infections

Amid the rising numbers of infections in Nigeria, the Jigawa State Task Force on COVID-19 said 14 new cases were reported from various parts of the state.

Of the new infections, 11 were said to be National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members serving in the state.

The closure of schools in Jigawa follows a similar decision taken by the Kaduna State government as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus in the north-western state.

Banditry: Zamfara Govt Orders Closure Of 10 Schools

A file photo of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle.

 

The Zamfara State government has ordered the immediate closure of some Boarding and Day Schools in the state.

Mr Ibrahim Abdullahi, who is the Commissioner for Education, made the announcement while briefing reporters in Gusau, the state capital.

He explained that the affected schools were those that share borders with Katsina, Kaduna, and Sokoto States.

READ ALSO: Senators Lament Over Increased Insecurity, Call For Removal Of Service Chiefs

The commissioner noted that the three states were prone to banditry, saying that the decision was important to forestall any form of attack on the schools.

He added that the action was necessary considering the security situation in the country and to prevent what happened at the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State.

Abdullahi assured parents and guardians that the safety of the students was paramount to the state government.

He revealed that the government has concluded plans to deploy security operatives to the remaining schools that were not closed.

The affected educational facilities comprise seven boarding schools and day schools.

Boarding schools listed include G.S.S. in Tsafe, G.S.S. in Magaji, G.A.S.S. in Zurmi, G.G.S.S. in Moriki, Science Secondary School in Shinkafi, Science Secondary School in Dansadau, and Science Secondary School in Bukkuyum.

The affected day schools are G.D.S.S. in Nasarawa Mailayi, G.D.S.S in Gusami, and G.D.S.S. in Gurbin Bore.

WAEC To Bar Students, Deregister Schools To Curb Examination Malpractice

Female Candidates Outshine Male As WAEC Withholds 180,205 Results
A file photo of WAEC logo.

 

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has approved stringent sanctions against candidates, supervisors, and schools involved in examination malpractice.

A statement from the acting Head of Public Affairs at the WAEC office in Yaba, Demianus Ojijeogu, noted that the approval was made at the 70th meeting of the Nigeria Examinations Committee (NEC) of the council held from Thursday to Saturday last week in Lagos.

In the course of considering the various reported cases of malpractice and after diligent deliberations, the committee approved appropriate sanctions in all established cases of malpractice, as prescribed by the Rules and Regulations governing the conduct of WAEC examinations.

It approved that the entire results of candidates involved in proven cases, which attracted Cancellation of Entire Results (CER), be cancelled, while subject results of those involved in proven cases, which attracted Cancellation of Subject Results (CSR), be also cancelled.

According to the council, some candidates will suffer other sanctions such as barring them from sitting for the WAEC examinations for a certain number of years, and some schools will be derecognised for a specified number of years or have their recognition completely withdrawn.

It added that supervisors found wanting in the discharge of their examination duties would be formally reported to their employers and blacklisted while some invigilators would be reported to the appropriate authorities for disciplinary action.

“The decisions of the committee will be implemented without delay and the affected candidates and schools duly informed by the Council.

“However, the results of candidates who were exonerated by the committee would be released,” the statement said.

The committee, which is the highest decision-making organ of WAEC on examination-related matters in Nigeria, meets twice a year to consider matters relating to the conduct of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates and private candidates.

Its statutory Chairman is the Chief Government Nominee on Council and Director of Basic and Secondary Education in the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja.

At the meeting, the committee also considered special cases, clemency appeals from WASSCE for school candidates in 2020, and restitution cases for various years.

It received a report on the statistics of entries and results for WASSCE for private candidates (2019-second series), and WASSCE for private candidates (2020-first series).

Kano Private Schools Obey Govt’s Directive, Slash Fees By 25 Per Cent

A map of Kano state in northern Nigeria.-Kanooooo
A map of Kano, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

Kano State chapter of the Association of Private Schools Owners of Nigeria (APSON), has agreed to reduce school fees charges by 25 per cent as directed by the State Ministry of Education

According to a statement on Monday by the State Commissioner of Education, Muhammad Sanusi Sa’id-Kiru, the members unveiled their decision when they paid a solidarity visit to the Commissioner of Education in his office.

Earlier, the state government threatened to cancel the third term of the private schools unless the proprietors cut down school fees to 25 per cent.

The commissioner said APSON’s National Deputy President, Maryam Magaji, “has informed me that their association has decided to comply with the government directives for the reduction of the school fees with a view to cushioning the effects of the economic hardship suffered as a result of the covid-19 pandemic by parents in Kano State.”

While noting that the government’s directives for schools to slash fees were not meant to hurt proprietors, Kiru said it was done in the best interest of the educational development of the state.

Secondary Schools In Akwa Ibom To Resume September 28

Police Arrest 10 Suspects For Political Violence In Akwa Ibom
A map of Akwa Ibom, a state in south-south Nigeria.

 

After months of being shut down, public secondary schools in Akwa Ibom, are now set to resume on September 28.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong on Saturday.

According to the statement, private secondary schools have also been directed to commence the process for resumption from September 21.

“Primary schools are also to commence processes for the resumption of primary six pupils only, on 21st September, 2020 to prepare them for the common entrance (exit examinations).

Read Also: Lagos Govt Releases Academic Calendar For 2020/2021 Session

“These were among critical decisions taken at the meeting of the State Executive Council Friday evening,” Ememobong said.

“Additionally, the Akwa Ibom State University will commence the processes of resumption on 21st September 2020; College of Education, Afaha Nsit, is to reopen on 21st September 2020, while Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua will resume on October 5, 2020”.

As the schools resume, they are mandated to comply with the COVID-19 protocols.

The commissioner also noted that the state government has made face masks available for all pupils who are to write the common entrance examination.