Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State yesterday hinted that public schools in the state which were shut down at the height of attacks by Boko Haram insurgents in the state, will soon be reopened.
Recall that schools across the state were shut down about five months ago following escalating attacks on schools, students and teachers by insurgents.
The governor, who gave the hint in Maiduguri, the state capital, during the award of scholarships to another set of 20 female students to study medicine at the Khartoum College of Medicine, Sudan, said he was working hard for students to return to school.
Shettima said the government would be paying stipends to parents especially in northern Borno, to encourage them to send their children to schools, adding that one meal per day would be given to the students.
“For our people in the hinterland, poverty is not a philosophical debate but reality of their life”, he stated.
The governor noted that many people may write off Borno as a place known for killings and insurgency, but the state would overcome its present security challenge, stressing that he was passionate about education as foundation for development.
“I’m passionate about gender empowerment, I mean education of women. If we must develop as a state, we must empower our children through quality education. Educate a woman, as the saying goes, and you would have educated a family and by extension, a nation”, Shettima said.
He said history would judge leaders in the country harshly if they failed to develop public schools to ensure children of those not privileged, have access to good education.
“We have to invest in the future of our state and the future lies in education”, he said, adding that he would be happy seeing more medical doctors in the state and other professionals even if he is no longer in office as the governor.
He urged the 20 students to work hard to succeed. “Don’t scandalize us there because of the freedom you may enjoy. Be of good conduct and exhibit all seriousness not only in your studies but also in morality. Don’t do anything that will bring disrepute to our state and your families”, he advised.