By Princess-Ekwi Ajide, Abuja
The federal government of Nigeria says it is collaborating with security agencies, to ensure adequate security in schools in preparation for resumption.
The Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Opiah, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja, in commemoration of the 2022 International Day to Protect Education from Attack, said schools in the FCT, which had been shut down for fear of bandits’ attack are about to reopen.
He said the closure was not permanent, hence they will reopen alongside other schools.
According to the Minister, the ministry in collaboration with relevant security agencies will safeguard schools generally and there will be no isolated case as the safety of children is very important.
Opiah explained that the observance of the “International Day to Protect Education from Attack” was initiated by Qatar and co-sponsored by 62 other countries at the 76th United Nations General Assembly in 2020 and was unanimously espoused adding that this is the third edition and the ministry strategically chose the theme, “Implementing the School Safety Policy as a Tool to Protect Education from Attack: Our Collective Responsibility”.
He noted that the theme foregrounds the education sector hands-on actions to protect education from violent situations and armed conflict thereby upholding the right to education and its continuity in such emergency situations as enshrined in the Safe School Declaration which Nigeria ratified on 20th March, 2019.
The Minister further noted, that the theme was devised by the ministry to create awareness on the existence of the School Safety Policy and the need for state governments, educational institutions and stakeholders, civil society organisations, the military, and the general public to operationalize the guidance therein.
According to him the School Safety Policy copiously highlights the strategies for emergency preparedness in educational institutions, measures for harm reduction, stakeholders to contact for help in case of imminent attack, deterrence of the military from using education institutions and procedures to ensure that education continues even if attack is inevitable.