AS CHILDREN’S DAY IS MARKED TODAY 27TH MAY, AN EDUCATION SECTOR LEADER KENECHUKWU NWOSU EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER SAFETY AND SECURITY OF STUDENTS IN SCHOOLS AND GIVES HIS OPINION ON SAFETY AND SECURITY TIPS FOR OUR SCHOOLS AND MEASURES GOVERNMENT And PRIVATE EDUCATION PROVIDERS CAN TAKE TO MAKE SCHOOLS SAFER.
A leader in the education sector ,renowned educational administrator and 2018 award winning best state Universal Basic Executive chairman in Nigeria Safe School Award , Mr Kenechukwu Nwosu, has expressed concern over the security and safety of students both in primary and Secondary Schools in Nigeria ,while recommending some safety tips for government and private education providers to adopt to enable them forestall easily any unusual activities within the school environment.
Interacting with Newsmen in Umuahia ,the former executive chairman Abia state Universal Basic Education Board ( ASUBEB) and stakeholder in education, Mr Kenechukwu Nwosu said it has become very imperative that government in collaboration with the security agencies to direct their surveillance on the schools and environment ,because of the safety and security of students and teachers in schools in the country.
According to him ,” I think ,the greatest thing that can happen to our school system is to have proactively established safety and security system put in place to instill confidence in both parents, teachers ,students and communities in general.
“So I think anything we can do in the area of strategy is very much welcome ” he noted
Speaking further, he maintained that he is very much concern because education sector is his area of coverage and recommended some security and safety tips ,which he noted will help government and private education providers and in his words ,” I think government and security agencies should start looking at having closer surveillance at the school environment, involve more man power , information and communication technology ,it is also important to have infrastructural audit in schools, there is need to know how many schools we have ,which schools are more exposed to security challenges, and knowing what provisions these schools have for safety and security”
He pointed out “the need to know how many children we have per school and how prepared we are in case there is any alarming situation,what do we do ,this goes ahead to bring in the issue of security sensitization and training in the schools , in which it is important communities and the youths where the schools are located are carried along “
He disclosed that ,it is necessary that schools with boarding facilities are properly fenced round with gate and properly lighted adding that in the course of renovations of schools ,there should be provision of strong windows and doors which will help school authorities to fortify protection of children in case of any alarming situation, before external help will come and that picking up of children should be seriously monitored while suggesting that school buses should be registered with ministry of education and be closely monitored by security agencies while picking and dropping children and as well transmit information to these buses carrying children.
He recommended further that government ,should make use of the school based management committee, which is made up of communities , the youths ,the religious leaders ,the traditional rulers as well as parents and teachers association and other stakeholders to come together and brainstorm with a common focus of opinion looking into the protection of lives and property in our schools “
He underscored the need to have proper means of identification of students and for teachers and en sure that roll calls are made every morning and at the closing hours of the schools ,to ensure that no child is missing,and that loitering within the school hours should be discouraged ,saying that when the awareness is high ,information can be circulated easily in case of any unusual activity within the school environment.
He recommended that security agencies can liaise with the vigilante groups ,the youths association and local hunters who know the terrains in case of any alarming situation, adding that it is important for government to make phone numbers available to people within the vicinity of the schools which they can call as soon as they notice security challenge around the schools ,revealing that time is of the essence in any critical situation.
He also said Disaster management agencies ,fire service providers should also have their contacts given to school authorities.
Baring his mind on the education development in his state, Nwosu ,extolled the Abia state Governor ,Dr Okezie Ikpeazu for what he has been doing in the area of education, saying the governor has done well to hold forth the expectations of Ndi Abia ,especially in the core objectives of the universal basic education program .
” I think the Governor has also taken basic education to its zenith in Abia state ,because how do you evaluate ,it is based on performance of children in competitions,internal and external examinations , so if the state has continuously maintained top position in the West African Examination Council over these years ,it means that something good is happening around the state and the environment is conducive for the children to learn” he said .
” I want you to understand that if the foundation is faulty from Early Childhood Care And Development (Nursery) to The Lower, Middle and Upper basic levels ,we would not be recording the tremendous results that we are having and I think Governor Ikpeazu having come from education sector, wants to produce graduates that are employable ,that is why we are seeing ,things like education for employment ,the provision of conducive infrastructure, continuous training and retraining of teachers , revamping and total overhauling of the education system in Abia ,he has done tremendously very well in this area