The Independent Africa Safe School Award Council (IASSAC) is pleased to announce His Excellency, Engr. Dave Umahi, Executive Governor of Ebonyi State of Nigeria as winner of 2015 Africa Safe School Award. The Award goes to any African Head of Government at national, regional or municipal level with the highest Safe School Empowerment Index (SSEI) for any given year. Ebonyi State scored 93.5, the highest in Africa.
The index is generated based on objective and independent rating of 10 Key Performance Indicators (KPI) all of which are verifiable and in the public domain including:
- Mobilization of general public to understand that safe school is collective responsibility and everybody’s business.
- Organizing and inspiring school communities to support security agencies to defend and protect their schools.
iii. Building capacity of administrators, teachers and students to conduct school risk assessment audits with a view to installing preventive policies and programmes.
- Equipping school teachers and administrators with Safe School Reference and Operational Manual.
- Commitment of financial and material resources to promote safe schools.
- Evidence of independent media acknowledgment of programme.
vii. Verifiable acknowledgment, endorsement or participation of International Agency.
viii. Endorsement and participation of Teachers Union.
- Spread and coverage of programme.
- Structure for continuity and sustainable action at school level.
Ebonyi state scored high in all the factors. The state informed and mobilized citizens regarding the fact that schools are now targets of choice for terrorists and criminals and emphasized need for eternal vigilance by all stakeholders through the launch of Ebonyi Safe School Empowerment Project. The focus on sensitization and mobilization was highlighted by the fact that the Ebonyi initiative was coordinated by the Ministry of Information and State orientation instead of Ministry of Education.
The State trained the first batch of 600 school teachers and administrators as Safe School Ambassadors and First Responders between October 26 and November 6, 2015 and sponsored distribution of 4000 copies of Safe School Manual, the most authoritative capacity building literature on Safe Schools in Africa researched and developed over a period of five years by Exam Ethics Marshals International with the support of Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Fire Service, National Emergency Management Agency and other stakeholders.
The Ebonyi Safe School Initiative was widely reported in print, electronic and online media platforms across the world including UNESCO News, Africa News Hub, Universal Reporters, The Nation Newspapers, Daily Times , Naija news, Nigeria Networks of News, TV and Radio Stations, etc.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization (UNESCO) attended the flag off of the Ebonyi Safe School Initiative on 26 October, 2015 at the International Conference Centre, Abakaliki. The Regional Director of UNESCO, Mr. Benot Sossou, who was represented by the Agency’s National Programme Officer for Education, commended the Governor for “setting the pace for other leaders to follow”.
Comrade Joseph Nweke, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Ebonyi State wing also commended the Governor in a written speech at the flag off. He conveyed delight and appreciation of Ebonyi teachers for Governor’s show of concern for welfare and security of teachers, students and pupils. He commended the Governor for launching the Ebonyi Safe School Empowerment Project and confirmed the unalloyed support of teachers.
The Ebonyi project also satisfied the requirement of spread as it was launched in all three senatorial zones to include teachers from all Local Governments areas. Those who participated were inaugurated as pioneer members of Ebonyi chapter of International Safe School Ambassadors Network (ISSAN). Their training and inauguration empowered them to act as Safe School First Responders in their various schools.
The Governor stand highly commended for pro-active policy of “prevention is better than cure” in matter of safe school. It is our hope that other African Leaders will emulate the Ebonyi example in view of the fact that schools have become targets of choice for terrorists and criminals. The Award will be presented on Thursday, December 10, 2015 in Abuja.
Members of the Independent Africa Safe School Award Council include Maj.Gen. Matthias Efevbohkan Rtd (Chairman); Professor Abednego Ekoko; Jamiu Ibrahim (Executive Secretary); Kofi Ashiboe Mensah; Dauda Rasheed; Terry Foundging Shuri; Godfrey Mngoma and Ike Onyechere, MFR.
Maj. Gen. Matthias Efevbohkan (Rtd) Jamiu Ibrahim