The group seeks to tame the results of the Safe School Declaration in Kwara

A non-governmental organization, Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative, has expressed its commitment to domesticating the outcomes of the Safe Schools Declaration in Kwara State. Speaking during the week at a briefing to mark Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) 2022, the group’s executive director, Abideen Olasupo, said a number of activities have been lined up to drive the taming and implementation of the statement in the state. Mr. Olasupo said that the activities, which will be carried out in partnership with the state Secretary of Education, have the support of the Center for Research and Development Projects (dRPC) and the Ford Foundation. The Nigerian government ratified the Safe Schools Declaration in October 2021 during the fourth international conference on the Safe Schools Declaration held in Abuja, the national federal capital territory. In recent years, schools in Nigeria have witnessed several attacks, forcing parts of the north-west and north-east, in particular, to close. Schools in the southeast have also continued to come under attack by ethnic rioters, even as schools do not open on Mondays due to rioters’ sit-in orders. Lawsuits Mr. Olasupo has therefore called for more security in schools, safe and accessible learning environments for children in emergencies, and regular training for teachers. He said: “Let me at this point point out that keeping our schools safe should not be seen as the sole duty of government. “We all have a role to play; Community and religious leaders, law enforcement agencies, civil society organizations, people with special needs, parents, and community groups need to get involved. When it comes to security, we are all stakeholders. “We must help security agencies with information and intelligence gathering, which is key to preventing some of these attacks on schools” Pledge Mr. Olasupo also promised that his team, as part of their project, will embark on advocacy and awareness programs, as well as workshops for teachers and those he described as community champions. He said; “As part of our programs, we will carry out a ‘Safe Schools’ awareness program in 50 schools in the three senatorial districts of Kwara State. We will also hold a community town hall meeting involving relevant stakeholders to discuss how to keep our schools safe. “In addition, we will host workshops for teachers and community champions on the Safe Schools Minimum Standards implementation process, the roles of teachers and community members in protecting students, school emergency preparedness and response, and evacuation drills. We will also distribute safety kits to schools in the state.” He added that; “The dPRC, through its Safe School CSO Movement, supported 24 CSOs in the 6 geopolitical zones with funds from the Ford Foundation to carry out activities and workshops to reduce the Safe School Declaration”. Safe School Initiative The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack reported that between 2015 and 2019, there were more than 11,000 reported attacks against educational facilities and/or educational students and staff, harming more than 22,000 students and educators in at least 93 countries. Nigeria has its fair share of these attacks against students and teachers, mainly on school premises. ALSO READ: Governor of Kwara signs N190 billion budget for 2022 According to the Coalition report, Nigeria has suffered more than 100 attacks on its schools during this period. In response to deliberate attacks on schools and students in different parts of the world, including Nigeria, the Nigerian government ratified the Safe Schools Declaration. The Declaration was a commitment by governments around the world to keep schools, students and teachers safe in times of conflict. It is also to ensure that learning activities continue to take place during armed conflict. Citing statistics of violent attacks on schools in Nigeria, Mr. Olasupo said; “On April 14, 2014, more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted from a school in Chibok, Borno state. In February 2018, Boko Haram insurgents attacked the Government Girls Science and Technology College in Dapchi, Yobe state, where a large number of schoolgirls were reported missing. Furthermore, in December 2020, more than 300 schoolchildren along with their teachers were kidnapped by bandits from the Government Science School, Kankara in Katsina state.” He said that, in November 2021, UNICEF reported that there had been at least 25 recorded attacks on schools in Nigeria in 2021 alone, with no fewer than 1,400 students kidnapped. “In addition to the aforementioned cases, there have been many cases of reported attacks by armed men on schools in Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Zamfara and Niger states, during which hundreds of students were kidnapped,” it added. He noted that the attacks have forced state governments to close schools, putting thousands of children at risk of losing their education. He said many children are also afraid to go back to school, increasing the number of out-of-school children in the country. The number of children out of school in the country is already 10.5 million, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Qosim Suleiman is a reporter for Premium Times in partnership with report to the worldthat unites local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on hidden topics around the world. Read More Related News Here Let here it in the comment below if you do have an opinion on this; The group seeks to tame the results of the Safe School Declaration in Kwara