From Esther Akaa, Lafia
A group known as Friends of Police (FOP) has inaugurated an implementation committee for its Safe School Security Initiative with the aim of fostering safety in schools for efficient teaching and learning in Nasarawa State.
The Chairman and Convener of the group, Mr Ibrahim Babayo, performed the inauguration of in Keffi Local Government Area ( LGA) of the state on Friday.
According to him, the National Orientation Agency (NOA), the Nigerian Police Force, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) were among the organisations on the implementation committee that would put measures in place to guarantee that children and students continued their education in a safe and secure environment.
He stated that the implementation committee’s goals would be to provide a safe learning environment, draft a disaster risk reduction strategy, raise awareness about the need to make schools more secure and safe from abuse and violence, and carry out capacity building in various schools throughout the state.
Babayo further noted that the school security programme was launched urgently to address insecurity issues in schools so that, if left unchecked, the vulnerabilities do not harm the future of the innocent school children, especially those between the ages of 13 and 19 years
“The insecurity menace has also cared away potential tourists, manufacturing companies and business developers and others. Therefore the safe school security initiative is a quick intervention therapy,” he said.
“The findings of Friends Of Police also shows that there is no subject in the school curriculum from kindergarten to secondary level that teaches on safety and security management.
“It is also on record that public and private secondary schools in Nasarawa state do not have constituted disaster management committees or any emergency management plan.
“In line with these findings, it is therefore recommended that a disaster emergency management curriculum should be inaugurated in pubic and private schools to teach students on how to respond in cases of emergencies and prevention strategies,” he added.
He, therefore commended the Acting Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, the leadership of the NOA, NSCDC and the Federal Fire Service for their support in helping to actualise the safe school security initiative in Nasarawa state.
On her part, Nasarawa state Director of NOA, Mrs Priscilla Gondo-Aluor, represented the NOA Head of Publicity and Enlightenment, Mr Philemon Ebuga applauded the partnership between the NOA and the Friends Of Police aimed at creating public awareness on security and other issues.
She added that due to the positive impact of the partnership on the society, the Director General of NOA, Dr Garba Abari had deemed it fit to permit the Friends Of Police to use the structures of the NOA throughout the country.
“NOA has 774 local government formations nationwide apart from the state headquarters and we have personnel’s that are well trained in terms of orientation, mobilisation and sensitisation.
“Our function is to carry out policies of government by taking them to hinterlands to educate the citizenry and tell them what government programmes are all about. When the Friends Of Police came up with their our programme, government accepted it because it is working for government,” she said.