Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education, has insisted that it will be suicidal to close schools in the country despite attacks on learning institutions.
The north has witnessed a series of mass abductions of schoolchildren by bandits, a situation that has led to the closure of some schools in the region.
Nwajiuba, while speaking on how insecurity is affecting schools in an interview on Channels Television on Tuesday, maintained that the Federal Government will not stop school operations.
The minister noted that the motive behind the attacks is for schools to be permanently closed, adding that the federal government is working to address the situation.
“We are aware that some of the attacks are meant to stop the idea of going to schools at all, and that is behind the motivation of governors that we would not stop schooling”, he said.
“We must continue. Stopping schooling is suicidal for the country. You heard the cost as the minister of finance did in the pitch she gave on the opening of these schools.
“But if we look at everything all together, the country is making serious efforts battling this as much as we can and stepping up the ability to respond”.
Nwajiuba also said President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, are very concerned about the rate of abductions in schools.
“I’m worried as the next parent; all my children are in public schools in Nigeria. I can tell you, no father, no mother would want this. Nobody wants this. We are as worried as the next person,” he said.
“I can tell you for free — my elder brother, the minister of education, Adamu Adamu, and Mr President are as worried as anybody else.
“I want to reassure Nigerian children that we are here for them”, he stated.
He revealed that around 200 schools have been closed, but some of such schools are currently operating within other settings.
“The total number of schools that are not functioning at the moment is a little bit under 200. But many of the schools in that part of the country, which can be run alongside schools where they can be relocated, are already being done,” he further said.
“Using a combined system of mergers, de-boarding, re-segregating, schools have been opened and are being managed along these lines.
“The condition that has led to the closure, mergers, and measures are continuing and the federal government is taking active steps.
“The safety of the country includes safety of schools. So, one leads to the other in some sort of way because once the schools are safe, our country is safe. Once the society is safe, it is safe to go to schools.”