Niger reunites freed Kagara students with families

By Justina Asishana, Minna

There are no plans to reopen boarding schools in some local government areas of Niger, the State Government has declared.

Commissioner for Education, Hajia Hannatu Salihu, said boarding schools in Rafi, Shiroro, Munya and Mariga local government areas remain close.

She spoke at a ceremony to reunite and hand over the kidnapped Kagara students to their families.

She said the government is consulting and studying the situation before giving any order for re-opening of the boarding schools, adding some things need to put into perspective to ensure safety for students and staff.

“The security challenge facing this state is huge and we have to ensure things are put in the proper place before we will think of reopening the school.

“I cannot say when they will go back to school or when it will be reopened but we will ensure that the SS3 students are kept in touch with to see how we will manage them so that they won’t miss anything and still write the final examination.

“Schools and students are delicate issues but we talking to the parents and other stakeholders to come up with a template for the reopening of the school,” she stated.

Reuniting the 27 students with their parents and guardians, Salihu urged them not to allow the incident of the kidnap discourage or depress them.

She added the state is ready to provide any counselling session for them not to be depressed.

She urged the parents to be source of encouragement to the students adding that this would motivate them to go blend into the society once again.

Commissioner for Health, Dr Muhammed Makusidi, admonished them to be courageous and that they should not exercise any unnecessary panic which would lead to withdrawal from school.

The Director-General of the State Child’s Right Agency, Barrister Maryam Kolo, assured the agency will follow up on the students adding the report from them will determine what they would do next.

She expressed optimism that the students would get over the trauma of the experience as their response to counselling has been encouraging so far.

The students appreciated the government for the efforts put in to rescue them.

The parents were happy to be reunited with their children and appreciated God and the government for bringing them back home safely.

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