In a move that underlines the resilience of the Chibok community (rural community in southern Borno, northeast Nigeria) and its determination to pull themselves through the traumas of terrorist attacks, the final year students of the Girls Secondary School are sitting for their West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination, (WASSCE) 2020.
This is coming six years after Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram swooped on the School abducting over 270 girls as they prepared to sit for their exit examinations in 2014. The action threw the nation and the international community into shock and outrage, ultimately putting the country in a strange political spin.
The news of the sitting for the exams this year by the final year students of the school opens a new page in the community’s struggle against attacks by Boko Haram. The terrorist group particularly uses a combination of attacks and threats to frighten communities from sending their children, particularly the girls to western themed schools.
On April 14, 2020, Boko Haram insurgents abducted 276 schoolgirls from the school dormitory. One hundred and seven of the girls have so far been released or escaped. Several others are still unaccounted for.
On Thursday, Brigadier General Abdul-Khalifa Ibrahim, Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division, Nigerian Army, shared the development to members of Education in Emergency Working Group Nigeria, at a meeting in Maiduguri, Borno state.
Ibrahim, who also is the Commander Sector 1, Operation Lafiya Dole, was represented by the Chief of Staff of the division, Brigadier General. Ifeanyi Otu.
“We are all witnesses to what happened in the recent past like the abduction of the Chibok girls, the slaughtering of students at Buni Yadi and abduction of students at Dapchi.
“These are all that happened and we have turned around that narrative.
“It will be gladdening to note that for the first time in the past six years, WAEC successfully held WASSCE in Chibok with the military providing security,’’ he said.
Ibrahim said that the Nigerian army continues to support the resuscitation of education in the northeast while fighting to secure the region.
The GOC added that after the capture of Gwoza, the Nigerian army paid teachers taking refuge to teach children there.
He also disclosed that about 70 per cent of the schools that were being occupied by soldiers due to the conflict had been relinquished, adding that efforts were being made to relinquish the remaining 30 per cent.
Students and schools in Nigeria’s northeastern region have borne the brunt of the decade-long violence by Boko Haram and its splinter faction, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and the military campaign against these groups.