The Edo Government has appealed to community leaders in the state to protect public schools in their domains.
The state Commissioner for Higher Education, Mr Washington Osifo, made the appeal in an interview with NAN in Benin on Sunday.
He said that government owned schools in the state were constantly being vandalised by hoodlums.
He said that it was part of the civic responsibilities of the community leaders as well as other residents of the state to assist government in protecting the schools.
“Vandalism is part of the evil in the heart of men. We don’t understand why someone will destroy government property, especially government schools.
“We have spoken to residents, religious leaders and community leaders where these schools are located, to see government schools as their own and protect them.
“We have continued to urge the community leaders to assist us in taking care of these properties; we hope that they will listen to this clarion call,” he said.
Osifo said that the employment of security men to protect schools in the state would swell the wage bill of the state government.
He said: “The security men we have in some schools cannot really do much when these hoodlums invade the schools because they find it difficult to overpower the vandals.
“Most times the hoodlums tie and beat them up before vandalising the schools property or stealing them.
“We are appealing to good-spirited people in the localities to protect the schools because their children are the direct beneficiary of the schools.
“They should not turn their eyes to the other side and allow people to destroy government properties in their area.
“We have complained to the police on several occasions and we are still looking for the perpetrators; nobody has a clue as to who is doing it and why.”
He said that principals of government schools had been mandated to stay close to the school premises to do routine checks on the schools, especially during weekends.
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