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Stakeholders Urge Federal Government to Prioritize School Security Amid increasing Attacks

Stakeholders Urge Federal Government to Prioritize School Security Amid increasing Attacks

By AmforGod J. Olisa

In response to ongoing armed attacks on educational institutions, including the recent abduction of 200 students in Kaduna State, stakeholders have intensified calls for the Federal Government to prioritize the safety and security of schools nationwide.

At a media roundtable in Lagos, education sector stakeholders emphasized the collective responsibility to demand government accountability in safeguarding educational environments. They underscored the interconnectedness of all individuals with school-going children.

Highlighting Nigeria’s commitment to the Safe Schools Declaration, advocates urged the government to take concrete actions beyond rhetoric. They called for adequate funding and the declaration of a state of emergency to address the pressing security challenges facing schools.

The roundtable, organized by the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) in conjunction with the United Nations Democracy Fund, focused on these urgent issues. Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, founding director of WARDC, emphasized the need for a comprehensive legal framework to establish maximum security standards for schools across the country. She suggested proactive measures such as deploying ‘Edu-guards’ to prevent security breaches and ensure the safety of students and educators.

Reflecting on past incidents like the Chibok schoolgirls abduction over 10 years ago, stakeholders stressed the critical role of the Ministry of Education in providing financial support and legislative backing to enhance school security. They acknowledged initiatives like the Safe School Initiative but expressed concerns over the ongoing vulnerability of schools to attacks in states such as Yobe, Katsina, Zamfara, as well as in the southwest and east.

Stakeholders also highlighted disparities in security measures between urban and rural schools, calling for equitable distribution of resources and increased vigilance to protect all students regardless of their location.

The emergence of groups like the Education in Emergency Working Group, which conducted extensive research on school safety nationwide, reflects a growing consensus on the need for concerted efforts from the government, civil society, and the media to address the security crisis in schools. Localized threats, such as the activities of Shila boys in Adamawa, further underscore the multifaceted nature of the security challenges in the country.

In light of these developments, there is a resounding call for the Federal Government to elevate school security as a top priority, with urgent action required to protect the lives and futures of Nigeria’s students and educators.

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