UNICEF, others organize symposium on safety of children in Borno schools

Executive Director of Center for Advocacy, Transparency and Accountability Initiative (CATAI), Abubakar Mua'zu


By SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri –

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with other partners have organized a panel discussion on school safety for students/children to mark the tenth anniversary of the abduction of 276 Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram insurgency.

The symposium, which was jointly organized by UNICEF, Plane International, CATAI, UKAID, COSFOD, BOSG and Education in Emergencies, was held at the El kanemi Hall of University of Maiduguri on Wednesday.

In his opening remark, the Executive Director of Center for Advocacy, Transparency and Accountability Initiative (CATAI), Abubakar Mua’zu, said the aimed of the symposium /panel discussion is to chart a way forward for the safety and protection children in schools.

Participants during the panel discuss

He added that the symposium was also targeted at reflecting on what happened to the innocent students learning and the past students plight, safety issues , solutions and suggestions on how students can be saved or protected In school, have access to quality education and learning environment as well as how schools environment can be more safe for learning

He urged all to be involved and make contributions in the overall interest and benefit of both the students, staff, parents and guardians as well as government and other stakeholders

The Panel of Discussants from security agencies representative, UNICEF representative, Education Secretary Mafa, representative, Education Secretary Kaga representative, Executive Director CATAI representative, SEMA Chairman representative, NSCDC representative and Vigilante Group representative suggested that there is a need for security alerts or safety awareness in all schools by educating and enlightening the students, staff and visitors to the schools on where to go and what to do in cases of emergencies.

They also noted that despite the existing improvement in security provision in most schools, more efforts should be made to ensure strict compliance to rules and regulations stipulated in all schools by the school authorities.

The panel of discussants, further, observed that there is need for.more investments in security in schools, although most schools are.safer today than ten years ago through safety auditing which requires checks and balances of security or safety lapses.

It was further suggested there is the need to strengthen the capacity of school human resources management and ensure sustainability of the capacity building.

It was also suggested that there is need to Increase the level of advocacy, coordination and management of education of children towards improving the educational status including carrying advocacy to the door steps of the government, involvement of everyone and ensure everybody is committed , schools development and safety, trainings schools emergency management for every member of the school environment.

They recommended that from the lessons experienced, measures were suggested to be adopted to increase school enrollment, accessibility of schools, upgrading of schools from junior to senior schools through advocacy and sensitization, encouragement of sending children to schools by parents and guardians.

The discussants also called on the government and private school owners to always liaise and contact security agencies by way of involving security agents in policy formulation and trainings and restraints on hostile environment, first aid and self defence by boosting the awareness of the students, staff, parents and guardians as community members

They suggested for the full implementation of save school declaration by all school authorities as the document contained all the necessary measures as well as responsibilities of all in terms of safety measures around school or community environment, stressing that, “it is everybody’s job”.

Traditional rulers also appealed to the government and owners of private schools to allow the traditional institution to be involved and participate in the establishment of schools, recruitment of teachers and staff and enrollment of children in order to shun engaging miscreants and criminals to avoid abuse of girl child and women’s rights and sexual violence among others.


The OPINION / COLUMN is authored by independent contributors to the National Accord Newspaper. While contributors adhere to our editorial guidelines, they are not employed by the National Accord Newspaper. The perspectives and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of the National Accord Newspaper or its staff.

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