The Chairman, Benue State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Rev. Philip Tachin, has disclosed that 20,000 children have been forced out of school in the state.
Tachin made the disclosure after he and members of the board’s management team inspected completed and ongoing primary school projects constructed under the Benue State Government and the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, intervention fund.
He explained that the children were those driven from their places during the attacks on Benue communities by Fulani herdsmen.
The SUBEB boss stated that more than 50 public primary school structures were destroyed during renewed herdsmen’s attacks in the affected areas in 2018 with more than 20000 children forced out of school.
Reverend Tachin stated that out of the number, more than 16, 000 of the children were taking refuge in various Internally Displaced Person’s (IDP) camps in the state.
He therefore noted that state government in conjunction with UBEC had began the rehabilitation of the schools, adding that more primary schools had been slated for rehabilitation before the end of Governor Samuel Ortom’s first tenure.
The schools inspected included the Local Government Education Authority, LGEA, primary schools in Gbajimba and Mbabegha in Guma local government area as well as St. Theresa’s Primary School in Makurdi.
Reverend Tachin disclosed that 426 projects had been completed while 229 were still under construction and rehabilitation.
He noted that 79 of the projects had been terminated.
According to him the board also procured thousands of modern plastic seats, tables, computers and other learning aids using the counterpart funds.
It would be recalled that the Benue State Government under Governor Samuel Ortom on assumption of office paid N3.8 billion as counterpart funding to match UBEC’s N3.8 billion and accessed the total of N7.6 billion for the facelift of primary schools.
The board embarked on 740 projects to give the schools a new lease of life.