School Teachers and Administrators in Nigeria have commended the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for sustained action in promoting safety and security of schools in Nigeria, especially in the North-East Zone affected by insurgency and terrorist activities.
They made their views known on December 10, 2015 at Nugget Hotel, Abuja when UNESCO distributed additional 650 Safe School Kits as climax of training of another batch of 114 teachers as Safe School Ambassadors, First Responders and Vigilantes.
UNESCO actively participated in the Launch of Safe School Empowerment Project (SASEP) on August 1, 2014 at the National Universities Commission. SASEP is based on the Manual which was researched and developed with the support and facilitation of Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Fire Service, National Emergency Management Agency and other critical stakeholders.
In November 2014, UNESCO sponsored the training of 345 school teachers and administrators as Safe School Ambassadors and the distribution of 1,350 Safe School Kits to schools in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.
UNESCO Regional Director, represented by the Agency’s Education Officer was in Abakaliki, Capital of Ebonyi State, to flag off the launching of Ebonyi State Safe School Empowerment Project on 26th October, 2015.
The training of another batch of 114 Safe School Ambassadors and distribution of additional 650 Safe School kits at Nugget Hotel, Abuja on 10th December 2014 marks the fourth direct intervention by UNESCO through SASEP. In his Goodwill message to the event, Mr. Benoit Sossau, UNESCO Regional Director said that UNESCO is proud to be “associated with this event aimed at building capacity of education stakeholders on safe schools”. He called on other partners and civil society organizations to join in supporting the programme.
Delegates were drawn from schools in Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba. They were unanimous in their praise of UNESCO. Bariya Bitrus Pin-Pin Principal of Government Day Secondary School, Karim, Taraba State praised UNESCO for “the wonderful, educating and fantastic programme”. Haruna Hussaini, the Headteacher of Iswawa Central Primary School in Bauchi State said that “of all safe school initiatives, the UNESCO approach is the best they teach us how to conduct risk audit of our schools and how to prepare for emergency.” Kefas S. Yerima, Principal of Government Junior Secondary School, Awak, Gombe State thanked UNESCO for providing “this comprehensive safe school manual and training at the right time”.
The beneficiaries requested UNESCO to extend the programme to all education stakeholders in insurgency states including all teachers, head teachers, principals, PTAs, staff of education ministries, commissions and boards. They particularly requested that the training be extended to supervisory and regulatory authorities to facilitate implementation of recommended policies and programmes. The Safe School Empowerment Project is facilitated by Exam Ethics Marshals International and Safe School Academy International.