The Principal of Chibok Government Secondary School in Borno State said in Abuja on 21 November, 2014 that building the capacity on school Administrators on Safe School Best Practices is paramount for enhancing safety and security of schools across Nigeria.
She made the comment in a goodwill address she presented at the Capacity Building Workshop sponsored by UNESCO for schools drawn from Emergency States of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. The climax of the workshop was the distribution of 1350 Safe School kits also donated by UNESCO.
The kits were distributed to a total of 114 institutions and organizations including 39 Primary Schools, 30 Junior Secondary Schools, 30 Senior Secondary Schools from the three states. Other beneficiaries include state chapters of the Universal Basic Education Boards, State Emergency Management Agencies, National Union of Teachers, National Union of Journalist and National Teachers Institutes. In his own address Professor Hassana Alidou, Director, UNESCO Regional Office, Abuja, lamented that the insurgency situation is already worsening the poor educational indices in Nigeria. He said ‘‘The prevailing security situation in the northeastern part of Nigeria has disrupted academic life in that zone. Nigerian educational institutions, teachers and students have become endangered due to attacks; schools are closed and children are losing out on their education. It is not clear when the insecurity will end. The situation is worsening the already poor educational indices for Nigeria. With large number of out-of-school children and young adults with limited literacy and numeracy skills, and statistics showing North-East on top of the nation’s out-of-school table, it unlikely that the record has improved. There is indeed an urgent need for immediate intervention to get back on track.
“Education is a human right, and no one should be denied of their right to education of good quality. This is why UNESCO joins the Government of Nigeria and the imitational community to condemn and say no to any form of attack on schools and educational institutions. “UNESCO is a member of the Child Protection and Education working group for North-East established in May 2014 as a result of the need to coordinate development responses aimed at ensuring access to education under safe schools initiatives and the restoration of the protection rights of children in the north east. “We are also working with all the UN Agencies in Nigeria to intervene in North East through an integrated support package within which this donation is supported. We have as well commissioned a consultant, a renowned- former Federal Minister and a native of North-East Nigeria to conduct a scoping mission and propose to UNESCO how to engage you, your religious, traditional and opinion leaders in a town hall advocacy meeting for continuing education. We hope you will honour our invitation when it eventually comes.
“We commend the Exam Ethics Marshals International for painstakingly developing the manual and kit”
The SSMP which was initiated in 2011 is implemented with the support and collaboration of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Fire Service, National Emergency Management Agency, Association of General and Medical Practitioners of Nigeria. The Ministry of Police Affairs and Police Service Commission supported the enabling summits and workshops for the production of the kits organized between 2011 and 2013.
The SSMP has four major objectives. The first is provide teachers, parents and students with comprehensive body of knowledge on safe school skills in a simple straight forward language and format that make for easy understanding, application and reference. The second objective is to empower school communities with specific safe school dos and don’ts that will enhance their safety and their ability to assist security agencies against the background that security is everybody’s business. Thirdly, the SSMP provides schools with enabling information and s,kills to conduct customized risk and threat assessment audits of their schools. Finally, the SSMP provides schools with templates for formulation of school emergency response plans, for establishment of School Emergency Response Teams and Incident Command Systems that are called into operation in periods of crises. The Safe School kit contains the Safe School Manual, Instructional Video DVD, Audio CD and a Hand Sanitizer.
Ike Onyechere, MFR.
National Task Team Leader, Safe school Manual Project..
Friday, 21 November, 2014.