NGO Calls for Domestication of Safe Schools Declaration in Bauchi

By Lizzy Carr

A Non Governmental Organization Women Advocated Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) has called on Bauchi State government to domesticate the safe school law.

Coordinator of the safe school declaration Jennifer Nwokedike made the call at a one day school -based outreach to raise awareness and sign the 1 million signatures on the need to implement the safe schools declaration in Nigeria for community influencers, school administrators and CSOs in Bauchi State organized by WARDC and syndicate in supporting Women and Children Initiative ( SISWACHI)

She noted that the online campaign for 1 million signatures will be use to carry out advocacy to government on the need to ensure that every school is safe.

Nwokedike urge the participants to develop strategies that will be use to secure the needed signatures.

Executive founder of SISWACHI Maryam Mohammed said the safe schools declaration aims at protecting students, teachers and educational facilities during conflicts.

” We are working in partnership with WARDC to see to the effective implementation of the safe schools declaration in Bauchi State and the outreach is expected to empower stakeholders and actors to disseminate information and contact awareness-raising campaigns within school environment and communities”.

In a presentation title the legal frameworks in place to ensure safety of schools in Nigeria, a lecturer with Aminu Saleh College of Education Azare Dr Sani Mohammed Ahmed cited the 4th conference on safe schools declaration of 2021 recommends that government should ensure that child protection advisors are part of military and peace keeping operations to strengthen protection and pre- empt violations against children.

The conference had also recommended amending military doctrine to restrict the use of schools and universities by military and security forces.

Ahmed noted that the Nigeria government and education stakeholders have undertaken numerous steps to ensure that all children spend their time in a safe learning environment but due to insurgency and attacks on schools, poor infrastructure and unsafe facilities most children either continue to learn in an unprotected environment or drop out of school.

In another presentation on the roles of stakeholders in school safety, Dr Mahmud Mohammed of Aminu Saleh college of education said safe school is where teaching and learning are not distracted, disruption or minimize violence,drugs, bullying and fear are not present.

“To make our schools safe education stakeholders like the students, teachers, parents teachers association, schools based management communities must collaborate to come up with a Comprehensive school safety and security program guidelines “.

Discussing on the 1 million signatures and the need for the implementation of the safe schools policy in Nigeria, executive director of SISWACHI Sadiya Mohammed added that the key aspects is for improved infrastructure and facilities in schools such as perimeter fencing, gates and CCTV cameras.

Also there should be enhanced security personnel emergency response plan.

Other aspects include anti bullying initiatives and counseling services.

Mohammed further stated that the implementation of safe schools declaration is crucial for ensuring enrollment and retention.

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