For the first time in six years, secondary schools in Chibok, Borno state, have participated in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WAEC) and for the first time too it was for both boys and girls instead of the former Girls’ only school.
Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 division, Nigerian army, Abdul-Khalifa Ibrahim disclosed this while receiving members of the Education in Emergency Working Group (EiEWG) Nigeria, on Thursday in Maiduguri, the Borno capital.
Schools in Chibok were shut down in 2014 after Boko Haram insurgents abducted more than 200 students from the Government Girls Secondary School in the area. While the federal governent has secured the release of some of the girls, a few others are still in the custody of the insurgents.
Ibrahim, who doubles as the commander, sector 1, operation Lafiya Dole, was represented by the chief of staff of the division, Ifeanyi Otu,.
According to NAN, he noted the negative impact of insurgency on education in the north-east, adding that the situation has been brought under control.
“It will be gladdening to note that for the first time in the past six years, WAEC successfully held WASSCE in Chibok with the military providing security,” he said.
“We are all witnesses to what happened in the recent past like the abduction of the Chibok girls, the slaughtering of students at Buni Yadi and abduction of students at Dapchi. These are all that happened and we have turned around that narrative.
“Let me equally say that the chief of army staff has been making deliberate efforts through the education corps to post teachers to all schools within the north-east states.
“We are really doing enough to ensure that education is resuscitated and as we all know, education is one thing that liberates the individual and liberates the minds. In the first place, this conflict would not have thrived if not that there was high illiteracy rate in this zone.”
In her remarks, leader of the EiEWG delegation and Director of Education, Ministry of Defence, Afolake Taiwo said the group’s visit was to commend the army for its efforts in promoting education in the region.
“We are passionate about making sure that our education is not under attack and this is actually coming from the Safe School Declaration (SSD) that was signed by the president,” she said.
The (EiEWG) Nigeria brings together non-governmental organisations, United Nations (UN) agencies, academics, and other partners, whose efforts are focused on ensuring access to quality education for persons affected by humanitarian crises.