By Grace Udofia
As school children continue to remain at home following the directives of school closure by some state governors in the Northern part of Nigeria, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Kaduna branch, have expressed displeasure over the development, describing it as a victory for Boko Haram’s quest to eliminate western education in the country.
In an interview with The Heritage Times, the Chairman of CAN, Kaduna State Chapter, John Hayab, explained that by this move, the government has simply acknowledged that the bandits have overpowered them and they have no solution to the insecurity these schools face daily.
According to him, the North is already educationally backward, compared to other states in the country, so it will be further injustice on these students to continue to have them sit at home while their counterparts continue to learn in schools in other parts of the country.
What CAN told The Heritage Times:
“That’s a big mistake by the state government which truly is actually wrong, because government is supposed to protect lives and properties.
“But what the government is simply doing now is to acknowledge that the bandits have overpowered them and since they don’t have a solution, they are busy locking down schools.
“Can you tell with all sense of honesty that locking down schools is good for us? We in the North are educationally backward, we should not at this time yield to the activity of these bandits and shut down our schools”.
BOKO HARAM WINNING THE WAR AGAINST WESTERN EDUCATION BY OTHER MEANS
“When Boko Haram started, one of their key message was that they don’t like western education and will do all they can to fight it. So the bandits are just an extension of Boko Haram and they are helping them to achieve everything they wanted in a twinkling of an eye.
“So the decision to lock down schools is wrong and I don’t think it’s good for our education and even for a responsible government”.
HIS ADVICE TO PARENTS WHO’S CHILDREN ARE AT HOME
“What I simply want to advice parents to do which I have even started doing, is to simply register for tutorial for their children. Unfortunately, not many parents have enough money to pay for extra moral classes for their children or private teachers to come teach their children.
“So I encourage Churches, Mosques and other institutions at this time to provide an avenue for these children to get extra lessons at home pending when the government decides to relax this decision to shut down schools.
“I had to vacate my office in Kaduna to allow the kidnapped students from Baptist High school that returned who are preparing to write their Junior WAEC, receive tutorials. I have given them a space so they can continue to receive lessons rather than just sit at home and forget all they have been taught before their exams.
THE CHILDREN CAN’T AFFORD TO LOSE A SCHOOL YEAR
“We can’t afford to allow these children loose a whole calendar year because of the negligence of our leaders while their counterparts in other states are in school. It will dampen the morale of these children.
“Sometimes if you are not careful, this little extension will lead other children to certain poor attitudes.
“We will do our best to help and I want to encourage as many people to do this, because when we keep them too long at home the chances is that they will get used to watching television. And not everything on television will educate them, some will lead them to other vices that will be harmful to their lives.
“CAN’s effort in helping these children at this time is enormous. I as a chairman left the whole of my office for a particular school to use to start preparatory class for its students writing a national exam soon. This is living by example so I enjoin churches to do same the same thing.
“The same can be done anywhere the goal is for our children it to sit idle but have something that they are learning so they can become better people in the future.
“This shut down of schools by the government, the implication is that tomorrow these children will have to be doing so much to catch up with other students who use the same curriculum across the country and I don’t want that to happen to them.