Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has promised support for the security of lives of students of federal unity colleges and other schools in the country.
The minister made the promise yesterday at the inauguration of the Committee on Security Education and an Awareness Campaign for Principals and Teachers of Federal Government Colleges, set up by the Ministry of Education. Adamu said over the past decade, Nigeria had grown “more insecure, largely due to ethno-religious crisis” and cult related acts, saying it was worrisome as the educational institutions had become targets of insurgents.
“School security is vital to effective teaching and learning. Presently, the safety of the school child is of primary concern to stakeholders in the education sector. In different parts of the country, the country, communal and ethnic crisis erupted and hindered the smooth functioning of schools,” he said. According to the minister, insecurity in schools was not a problem peculiar to Nigeria. He called for partnership from NGOs, sponsors and philanthropists to curb the rising security challenges in schools. He also said the ministry has approved the proposal of Security Awareness and Justice Foundation, an NGO, to organise a training programme for principals and teachers on how to deal with security challenges in schools.
The minister explained that a committee with membership from departments responsible for management of unity schools and the NGO was set up to look for ways to address the challenges in schools. Earlier, a former Inspector General of Police and current chairman of the Police Service Commission, had said youth had been severely affected by recurring violence and crises in the country. He said proper security awareness of principals and teachers would help to combat most of the security problems in the schools.
“Like every well-meaning Nigerian, our foundation feels greatly concerned about this untoward situation. Our focus on this project shall be on children, to whom we remain committed,” he said. Okiro however said the principals and teachers would be required to go back to their various schools to impart the knowledge they have acquired. “We have resolved to collaborate with the government in raising the quality of life of every child, regardless of ethnic, creed or circumstance to achieve their full potential without fear of security attacks on their schools,” he said.