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Safe school: Experts call for preparedness plan to handle risks

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Education leaders at the 2019 National Safe School Consultative Conference have called for prompt preparedness plan to handle high priority risk factors associated with school initiatives.

The experts, who gathered in Abuja on Wednesday, said that it had become imperative to evaluate the “safe school” concept for the security management of every school.

Retired Maj-Gen. Mathias Efeovbokhan, the Managing Director, Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), Consultancy Ltd, a participant, said that no two schools could have the same risk profile.

He, however, said that there was need to look critically at the peculiar threat of each school.

Efeovbokhan said that it was also imortant to train security personnel and involve professionals, who had the skills and experience, to ensure adequate preparations for the “safe school” empowerment project.

“Every school must have a standby team of safe school ambassadors and first respondents to take responsibility for the implementation of Safe School Empowerment Project (SEPP), when emergency situation develops.

“The team should include people with various professional backgrounds including security officers, medical staff, school public relations officers, facility managers, teachers, guardian and counselors.

“Each member should be assigned a pre-defined role to the priority risk level of various threats for which the team is assigned.”

Earlier, the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), Boboye Oyeyemi, had said that keeping children of all ages safe and secure was one of the important tasks of child care providers.

He said that youths were usually predisposed to crashes because of their poor sense of judgment or invisibility in traffic.

“An important part of safe system approach is to educate children and young people to behave responsibly on the road.

“This is particularly necessary because effective road safety education will give students opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to help them make informed and safer decisions in traffic and traffic environment.”

He promised to sustain the commitment to safer road campaigns in the country through public enlightenment and enhanced stakeholders collaboration.

Mr Ike Onyechere, Founder, Exam Ethics Marshall International, in his contribution, said that the study had revealed that 80 per cent of primary and secondary schools in the country had little or lack protective devices.

He said that the schools also lacked protocols and measures against security risks, threats and vulnerabilities.

The study, he said, noted that most primary and secondary schools lacked preventive, precautionary and mitigation policies in terms of security.

He added that the study involved the administration of a safe school compliant checklist, which sampled 1,200 schools selected from the six geo-political zones of the country.

FAK/OYE/ETS

Edited by Celine-Damilola Oyewole and Ephraims Sheyin

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