No less than 20,000 children have been forced out of school as a result of clashes involving herdsmen and farmers in Benue State, Reverend Philip Tachin, Chairman of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), has disclosed.
He added that the clashes had also left 50 public primary school buildings in ruins.
He stated this while inspecting primary school projects constructed by Benue State Government and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) intervention fund.
He said: “20,000 children forced out of school while over 16,000 of these pupils are now housed in various Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps across the state.”
Further lamenting the adverse effects of the clash, Tachin noted that reconstruction of the schools pose a major challenge for the state, as many funds would be required to renovate the schools.
“The renewed herdsmen attacks in 2018 also led to the complete destruction of structures in over 50 public primary schools in the affected areas and communities of the state.
“The development is quite a huge challenge for the state government, given the amount of resources that would be required to rebuild the affected structures,” he stated.
Tachin, however, noted that SUBEB and the state government would construct more primary schools in addition to the ones currently under construction, stating that “Aside the initial 740, more primary schools have been slated for rehabilitation before the end of Governor Samuel Ortom’s first tenure.”
He also said that thousands of chairs, tables, computer systems and other learning aids would be provided using the counterpart funds.