No fewer than 15 Borno indigenes in the internally-displaced persons (IDP) camp in Uhogua, Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo, have been forced out of school by management of the camp due to financial challenges.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the IDPs, who dropped out of schools, were in various levels in different tertiary institutions across the country.
Some of the drop-outs, who spoke with NAN in tears, expressed sadness that their hope of attaining education so that they could be useful to themselves, the society and the country had been cut short.
They appealed to Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno to come their aid so that they could continue their education.
John Ayuba, an IDP from Gworza in Borno, disclosed that for more than two years, the IDPs of Borno origin in the camp had tried in several ways to reach Zulum to appeal to him to take over their education and help them pay their fees.
He noted that in spite of their efforts, they had gotten no response from the governor, adding “we don’t know why the governor is not responding to our cries”.
Another IDP from Borno, Usman Philemon, told NAN that the least the governor could do for them was to encourage them by sponsoring their education.
“It is not by our making that we have become IDPs, but since we have found ourselves in this condition, we cannot afford to become useless in life. That is why we have decided to pursue our education.
“When we finish, we will come back home to help develop the state and give back to the state its investment in us.
“Imagine in this camp, we have about 12 of us from Borno studying Medicine, another 12 studying Law and five studying Chemical Engineering.
“The management of the camp has been sponsoring us from secondary school up till now, but today, things have become very difficult for us; they can’t meet up with the sponsorship again.
“This has forced some of us to drop out of school.
“We are still appealing to our governor to come to our aid and help us achieve our educational dream so that we be useful to the state and become worthy ambassadors,” he said.
Meanwhile, Coordinator of the camp, Pastor Solomon Folorunsho, told NAN that the 15 IDPs, who dropped out of school, were from the 63 IDPs presently in various higher institutions of learning across the country.
He explained that that it was quite painful to the management that some of them had to stop schooling, adding, however, that it was due to the present realities in the camp.
Folorunsho said that the management of the camp could no longer fund the education of the IDPs due to financial constraints and other challenges which the management was trying to cope with.
He added that the management of the camp had been responsible for their education since the insurgency forced them out of their state and they found shelter in the camp more than seven years ago.
The coordinator also stated that the management tried to reach out to some persons and even state governors where the IDPs came from, but no response had been received.
According to him, it has been quite challenging from the period of COVID-19, adding “it has been very challenging to pay their fees.”
The coordinator, however, disclosed that aside the 15 IDPs from Borno, three from other states were also affected.
Speaking on the last UTME, the coordinator said that 134 out of the 150 IDPs enrolled were able to write the exams.
He explained that the 16 IDPs, who didn’t write, couldn’t get their centres until after the exams.
“As I speak to you, those ones are just hoping that they will be called again to do the exams,” he said.
Folorunsho further disclosed that out of the 134 IDPs, who sat for the examination, more than a quarter scored above 200.