Despite the abduction of over 200 students from Chibok in 2014, and the wide publicity the attack received, most public schools in Borno State are still unsafe two years after, a new report says.
The research, conducted by Women Advocate Research and Documentation Centre, WARDC, in conjunction with Gender Equality, Peace and Development Centre, GEPaDC, said public schools were not safe for learning in the state.
The report followed a baseline research in three key local government areas, including Maiduguri, Chibok and Konduga.
The study, according to online publication, Premium Times, revealed that of all the schools surveyed, none had a recent safety and security training, except in Chibok where one school had a training in November 2015.
Other findings include:
- Only very few schools have security committees. These are mostly in Chibok LGA where the girls were abducted.
- There are inadequate number of security personnel, ranging from one to two personnel in all schools.
- The communication strategy in the schools is almost non-existent and where they exists, not everyone is aware of them in the schools.
- Classrooms are overcrowded with an average number ranging from 38 to 94 pupils per classroom.
- Some classrooms have exit doors and some do not have and even where exit doors are available, most are not clearly labelled. This portends great danger for a stampede if an emergency situation should occur when there is only one door for entering and exiting such overcrowded classrooms.
- Only very few schools screen people as they come into the schools and most schools allow all sorts of hawkers into the schools.
Until last week, 219 of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls had remained in captivity. Twenty one were released after negotiations with the extremist sect, Boko Haram.
The group, whose name translates to “Western education is sin”, has for years targeted schools, students and teachers.
As of 2013, even before the Chibok abductions, the insurgents had destroyed 50 out of the 175 public schools in Borno state, of which 823 classrooms were destroyed, the report said.
It said some 460 teachers and about 319 students were killed in Maiduguri and environs when the militants invaded schools.
Borno State government closed all schools on March 14, 2014, amid growing attacks, leaving 253,000 pupils and students of primary and junior secondary schools at home. The schools were recently reopened.