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Photos: 42 Chibok girls secretly enrolled in Plateau, Katsina schools graduate

 
The 42 girls who escaped from Boko Haram after their abduction ‎at Government Secondary School, Chibok on April 14, 2014‎ have graduated from private schools in Plateau and Katsina States. The girls were secretly enrolled at Bethel International Christian Academy and Ulul-Albab Science Secondary School, Katsina for Christians and Muslims respectively, through a joint sponsorship ‎by the Borno State Government​ ​and a non-profit humanitarian organization, Girl Child Concern, chaired by Dr Mairo Mandara​.

The girls were part of the 56 girls who escaped within days after the Boko Haram abducted 276 final year female students around midnight while the girls were writing the 2014 West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination.
Some of the girls jumped out of moving truck while others fled from where the girls were detained in insurgent territories.
Governor Kashim Shettima attended a special graduation ceremony organized for the girls at A Class event Centre in Abuja on Tuesday​.


The event had in attendance​ ​
the 42 Chibok escapees and 34 other vulnerable girls exclusively sponsored by the Girl Child Concern with support from some humanitarian partners.
​Speaking,
Shettima sai​d​
the Chibok abduction had exposed the poor standard of public school education in Borno State which was his greatest concern.
‎”One other painful aspect of the Chibok abduction tragedy, was that it exposed my greatest concern, which is the poor quality of our public schools. Since 2014, my priority has always been about the rescue of all our abducted girls but then, we saw some of them granting interviews in local languages due to problems of expression in English and it was not the fault of the girls.
​”​That was the quality of education they were provided. I live with a huge embarrassment concerning the quality of education provided by public schools in Borno State as it is case in many other States. I do not intend to make excuses but as those familiar with what I met on ground would corroborate, I inherited a disaster in the name of basic education.”​
The situation was so bad that the amount of money being allocated for feeding boarding students across all secondary schools in Borno State was a paltry N20m per month which amounted to less than five naira per meal for a student. Of course, we have since addressed that in 2012 by jerking up the allocation from N20m to N100m per month.
​”​
We are drastically repositioning our educational system with focus on totally changing basic education which is the most important step in the education of any child‎
“I actually asked Dr Mandara not to even tell me the schools the girls were attending. I used to even speak with the girls and their principals on phone but I never asked to know their schools until today that we are gathered for their graduation,” Shettima said.
Most of the girls are said to have obtained credits after writing the 2017 May/June WASSCE which makes them eligible for admission into tertiary schools. Governor Shettima has promised to sit Dr Mandara and the girls to discuss their future, promising huge support from Borno State Government.
Highlights of the graduation ceremony were ‎series of drama, songs and presentation of poems by the graduands with prizes presented to those with the best moral and academic records based on assessments by the two schools.

 


DAILY POST

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