The closure of 37 public primary schools in Maiduguri has been announced by the Borno Government few hours ago.
However,this was as a result of confusion and pandemonium in its schools over alleged vaccination against monkeypox disease.
The announcement was made in an interview with news Agency Shettima Kullima,the state universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).
Kullima dismissed allegation as “false and misleading”, saying that the government was not carrying out vaccination in schools. “It is a rumour perpetrated by mischief-makers to disrupt peaceful learning environment in the schools. “I was informed of the ugly scenario resulting to the confusion. The schools were directed to close down until we address the issue. “The State Health Management Development Agency confirmed that there was no such vaccination going on in our schools,” he said. Kullima said that the Board would embark on sensitization so as to raise awareness in communities and dispel the rumour. Pandemonium reportedly erupted in schools when unverified information circulated, alleging that pupils would be immunized with contaminated Monkeypox vaccines. The rumour spread widely in the state capital and many parents rushed to pick their children from schools. Scuffle ensued between parents and teachers at Sanda Kyarimi, Gwange I and III Primary Schools, who closed their gates against parents who came to take their children home. A mother, Aisha Bala, said she was told that some non-governmental organizations were allegedly administering ‘virus-contaminated vaccines’ on pupils. “I am told that any child who receives the vaccine will die. I rushed to save my children from danger,” she said. Another parent, Malam BubaYusuf, said that he got a message on social media alerting parents to about the purported ongoing Monkeypox immunisation, adding that the message indicated that the harmful vaccines would be given to children in public primary schools. Zainab Idris, a Primary-3 pupil, recounted that she heard other pupils shouting that vaccinators were in the school to administer deadly vaccines on them. She said: “There was screaming and everybody was running. I rushed towards the gate and made my way out of the school.”