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Akwa Ibom Govt reopens school shut down for violence

Following appeals from parents, stakeholders and well-meaning citizens, the Akwa Ibom State Government has ordered the immediate re-opening of Government Technical College, Ewet Uyo.

The state government had closed down the school over allegations of cultism, after a violent clash by the students on February 19 left many persons injured, including a senior Police officer. Numerous properties, including cars within and outside the school, were also destroyed in the fracas.

The Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Nse Essien, announced the reopening of the school, at a meeting with parents, teachers and other stakeholders, at the school hall on Wednesday.

Prof. Essien revealed that the government’s resolution to reopen the school followed persistent pleas from parents and stakeholders, to allow the students to participate in the upcoming Junior and Senior School Certificate examinations.

He described as “unfortunate and embarrassing”, the violent incident that led to the closure of the school.

Warning against a reoccurrence, the Education boss revealed that the state government had laid out measures to forestall future occurrence of the crisis, which he said was traceable to cult clashes for supremacy and struggle for girlfriends.

“As conditions for resumption, all students are required to apply for re-admission, undergo screening and sign undertaking forms to be of good behaviour throughout the remaining duration of their studies,” he said.

He also declared that students will pay the cost of the damages incurred during the fracas, adding that a special panel had been constituted to screen the 34 students suspected to be ring leaders during the violence.

The Principal of the school, Mr Etukudo Udo lauded the state government for its timely intervention, as well its decision to reopen the school. He affirmed the commitment of the school authority to work to prevent the occurrence of such incidents in future.

A parent, Mrs Mfon Aniekan, expressed her delight at the state government’s decision to reopen the school, adding that it had allayed fears of parents over the air of uncertainty the closure had generated.

“I thank the state government for their consideration in reopening the school. We are now sure of the fate of our children in ST3 whose final exams come up soon. We hope that the government’s intervention will bring an end to the recurring violent clashes in the school,” she said.

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