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Low Turnout As Schools Re-open In Borno

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The fear of another abduction seems to be the beginning of wisdom for many parents in Borno State now.

And as some private primary and secondary schools in Maiduguri, the state capital, resume for a new academic term on Monday, many parents have decided to keep their children at home because of the prevailing insecurity in the state.

Reports from the schools that braved the odds to resume indicated a very low turnout of students as parents showed apathy to the resumption following complaints from parents of the abducted schoolgirls of Government Secondary School, Chibok that there was nothing on ground to show that the military was ready to assist in rescuing the abducted girls two weeks after the unfortunate incident.

'Though this is the first day of resumption and the classrooms are not expected to be filled as some students might have traveled out of town and are likely not back yet but the turnout today was not impressive and untraditional.

'It is believed that there must be a reason for this, it is either the parents are not yet comfortable to return the children back to school or perhaps they might have relocated them out of town,' a teacher in one of the schools said on condition of anonymity. It was also gathered that some parents may have taken their children out of the state to continue their studies in other parts of the country considered to be safe.

'Though it was a difficult decision for me to relocate my wife and children, it was a decision I had to made for we have gone through a lot in the last four years and it looks like the situation is not going to settle quickly enough,' one of the parents told reporters, adding that 'The last attack on Maiduguri town over a month ago was as if the gunshots were at my backyard and all members of my family had to lie flat on the floor, it was then I decided that even if my office was not going to give me transfer, at least I have the choice of taking my family back home.'

The State Commissioner for Education, Hon. Musa Inusa Kubo, had said that the resumption of schools will go ahead as the government will continue to pray and work for the freedom of the abducted schoolgirls.

'As far as we are concerned, it is a challenge before us, we cannot afford to close down schools indefinitely. We are trying as much as possible and we are praying hard, God knows when this problem came in and when it is going to be over. It is our prayer that God brings peace back to Borno State again so that we can continue with our lives uninterrupted,' he had said.

'We at our end are doing the best we can especially to fortify the schools and when we do that we believe the students will come back to school. But definitely there are some areas that are still battling with the insurgency, we cannot take the risk of opening the schools in those areas for now. The most volatile areas, the areas that are prone to attack at any given time, the schools have to remain closed.'