Sani, who expressed concern over the development, linked it to the spate of insecurity, occasioned by kidnapping, banditry and other related crimes, in the state.

He disclosed that the government had begun a move to relocate 359 schools from terrorist-infested areas and merge them with other schools in safe places.

The governor spoke while declaring open a one-day capacity-building programme organised by the Nigeria Police Force School Protection Squad in Kaduna on Wednesday.

Sani described as apt the theme of the programme: ‘Strengthening Security Resilience and Integration of Host Communities in the Protection of Education.’

“Incidents like the kidnapping of 135 students from the LEA Primary and Junior Secondary School, Kuriga, Chikun Local Government tragically illustrates the devastating impact of insecurity on education access and safety.

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“To ensure that the education of our children in conflict-prone and terrorists-infested areas is not interrupted, we have commenced the merging of 359 schools with those in safe locations,” the governor said.

Sani lamented what he described as the alarming drop in school enrolment rate in the state due to insecurity.

Sani said, “Kaduna State is one of the states that has been waging a sustained battle against banditry, terrorism, kidnapping and other forms of criminality.

“These non-state actors have disrupted socio-economic activities in the affected communities and are threatening our educational revitalization programme.

“Kaduna State’s educational system is facing a crisis of declining enrolment, with over 200,000 fewer primary school pupils recorded in the 2022/2023 academic session compared to the previous year.

“This dramatic drop (from 2,111,969 in 2021/2022 to 1,734,704 in 2022/2023) is largely attributed to insecurity.

“In several local government areas, particularly Chikun, Birnin Gwari, Kajuru, Giwa, and Igabi,  insecurity has forced school consolidation, further pushing up the number of out-of-school children.”

The governor commended the Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, for establishing the Schools Protection Squad, a proactive initiative aimed at enhancing security and safety in educational institutions across Nigeria.