Most public schools and some of the privately-owned in Borno state are expected to resume classes today after the two days holiday declared by government to observe the just concluded Eid el-Kabir celebration.
Interestingly, most of the students and pupils of the public schools did not show up at their various classes as they have practically extended their holiday.
The Humanitarian Times reporter has observed that most premises of the public schools were empty even though the teachers and other administrative staffers had resumed work as early as 7 am.
Sallah celebration, especially for kids in Maiduguri, usually last for about seven days; even as the first three days record the main activities and related religious rituals.
Many of the school children had ignored the resumption day as they were poised to carry on with the festive break which ended Wednesday, uly 21.
It is also noticed that even the parents are not keen at sending their wards back to school on the third day of Sallah.
“Islamically, Eid days last for three days during which people slaughter their animals; so, many of us see the third day as a holiday,” said a parent who lives in the Polo area but wished not to be named in this report.
Yusuf Tom, a public school Head Teacher in Maiduguri confirmed to The Humanitarian Times that “we have resumed today, but, as you have observed, the children refused to show up in classes”.
Mr Tom said he was not surprised because “many of the kids did not come to school even on Monday” which was not a public holiday, but the Arafat Day during which adult Muslims observe a day’s fasting.
This reporter however noticed that only pupils and students of private schools were seen heading to their school on Thursday.
“Even the private schools are recording poor turn out of pupils because of the Sallah,” said a parent who went to drop her kids at one of the non-public schools.
A teacher in one of the public schools said “I bet you that we would not have a full attendance this week until next week”.
The teacher added that schools opened last week for the third term classes but because the resumption week precedes the Sallah week most of the parents decided to keep their kids at home until after Sallah.
The attitudes of both parents and school children towards the post-Sallah break resumption dates underscore the dearth of discipline in both public and privately owned schools. Corporal punishments which used to be a major signature of public schools where kids face stiff penalties for being absent from classes have now become a thing of the past. And this is a major setback that affects the character development of our future leaders.