Stakeholders in the education sector have advocated for the development of National Safe School Policy to address the issue of insecurity in Nigerian schools.
The stakeholders made the call at the “Safe School Summit’’ organised by the Nigeria Safe School Association (NISSA) and Safe School Academy International (SSAI) on Tuesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the summit was “Mainstreaming Lessons of Successful Anti-cult and Safe School Initiatives into School Security Best Practices”.
In his address, Maj.-Gen Mathias Efeovbohkan (rtd.), the Chief Executive Officer, Consultancy Unit, Nigeria Defence Academy, said that there was an urgent need for the formulation of a policy on the protection in schools.
According to him, Nigeria is among the highest in school attacks in the recent times.
Efeovbohkan said that the policy would address the insecurity challenge and increase security consciousness among Nigerians.
He underscored the urgent need to address the perpetration of terrorism in schools.
“Our Children are our cash cows for tomorrow; but unfortunately, our children are the least looked after in this country.
“Children are kidnapped, children live under bridges and many children are not in schools”.
According to him, reports show that eight million Nigerian children roam the streets, which poses a serious threat to the nation.
“Children are missing everyday; 30 per cent of attacks on schools are not reported; therefore, we have to make security our culture”.
He added that between 1970 and 2013, there were more than 3,400 attacks targeting educational institutions.
He expressed concern that schools had become vulnerable to terrorists.
Earlier in his remarks, Mr Ike Onyechere, the Chairman, Examination Ethics Marshal International, said that attacks and violence in schools at all levels was worrisome.
Onyechere explained that a National Safe School Policy would go a long way in addressing the menace, citing the kidnap of Chibok girls and cult activities in campuses as examples.
He said that the summit was organised to address and proffer solution to the issue of cultism as cases of cultists’ activities were on the increase.
Onyechere called on lawmakers to pay attention to the issue by reviewing extant laws and promulgate new laws that would simplify enforcement and prosecution processes.
He, however, assured Nigerians that NISSA would play strategic roles in promoting safe schools and stop the spread of cult activities.