Rampaging bandits terrorising residents of Zamfara State and other states in the Northwest region of Nigeria have converted some of the schools classrooms to hideouts after forcing closure of the schools.
It was gathered that dozens of primary schools in highly traumatised remote rural communities had been taken over by armed criminals, Daily Trust reported.
The schools were abandoned by the pupils and teachers as a result of the activities of the criminals.
Residents told Daily Trust that the head master of one primary school in the Birnin Magaji Local Government Area of the state was once confronted by armed men who asked him to close lessons for the day as they intended to sleep in the classrooms.
Without any hesitation and knowing fully the consequences of not carrying out their order, the headmaster immediately closed the school and asked all the pupils to go home.
Scores of bandits have been killed in airstrikes after they took shelter in the empty classrooms in the abandoned primary schools across the state.
Apart from this, there were schools affected by lack of teachers because many had rejected posting to rural schools due to the risk sassociated with going there to teach.
Consequently, the schools were either abandoned or left without enough teaching personnel.
In Zamfara State, learning has been disrupted after the state government was forced to shut down schools following incessant abductions of students by armed bandits.
In February this year, the bandits kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from a secondary school in the Jangebe community of Talata Mafara Local Government Area of the state, marking the beginning of a ceaseless onslaught on learning and scholarship.
Since then, the state government had ordered the closure of all the 23 boarding schools in the state pending improvement of the security situation.
Students in boarding schools were asked to start attending day schools instead.
Notwithstanding, the relentless armed men escalated their attacks to schools and colleges in the state, with the latest being the abduction of 74 students from Government Secondary School, Kaya in Maradun Local Government Area of the state.
Therefore, Wednesday’s abduction of students from the Kaya community also exposed the vulnerability of day schools in the state especially those located in remote rural communities.
After the Kaya abduction, the state government again announced the closure of all schools, forcing thousands of students to remain at home.
Earlier, the armed criminals had kidnapped about 15 students from the Zamfara College of Agriculture and Animal Science in Bakura Local Government Area who were later released after they spent days in captivity.