BY LAIDE AKINBOADE & CALEB AYANSINA
ABUJA—Supervising Minister of Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, yesterday, tasked all educational institutions across the country to improve on security around their premises, in liaison with relevant security agencies, to avoid the condemnable targeting of schools by terrorists.
This came on a day the National Orientation Agency, NOA, rallied relevant stakeholders to raise security alert among the primary and secondary schools’ students in the nation’s capital.
The Minister stated this in Abuja while condemning the terrorist attack on the School of Hygiene in Kano State.
He described the terrorist attack as a cowardly attempt to create fear in the minds of Nigerian youth and children who are willing to enrol in educational institutions to improve their lives through acquisition of knowledge.
He said the Federal Ministry of Education would continue to work with all stakeholders at the federal, state, local government and non-governmental levels to stem the tide of attacks on educational institutions in parts of the country.
“At federal level, the Federal Ministry of Education has reached out to the Ministry of Defence, which has made a firm commitment to always provide the necessary services and advice to all levels of governance in the overall bid to resolve the security challenge now facing schools in some parts of the country.
“With vigilance on the part of all stakeholders, the terrorists will not succeed in their ungodly goal of attempting to discourage Nigerian youths and children from keying into the educational programmes of the Jonathan administration and those of the respective states and other non governmental agencies,” he said.
He assured Nigerians that the Federal Ministry of Education would continue to work towards the creation of the right, secured environment for the advancement of education at all levels.
Meanwhile, the National Orientation Agency, NOA, has rallied relevant stakeholders to raise security alertness among the primary and secondary schools’ students in the nation’s capital.
The programme, which will be replicated in other parts of the country, particularly in the northern region, is to be carried out under the Safe School Initiative.
Speaking at the flag-off of the security awareness workshop for private and public schools, in Abuja, the Director General of NOA, Mr. Mike Omeri, said the step became necessary due to dwindling nature of education system in the north, following incessant attacks on schools by terrorist groups.
“Given the reality of the security challenges facing us as a nation, our schools have unfortunately become targets of attacks by criminal elements with students and teachers mostly the victims.
“The attendant vandalism of school properties and its effect on the quality of education available to students of such schools in the aftermath of such attacks are equally a cause of concern to the Federal Government and all lovers of education,” he said.
Omeri further noted that all over the world “the best practices that ensure schools are safe for studies and study-related activities include critical review of past security breaches at schools, followed by Lessons Learned Information Sharing (LLIS).
“Based on those lessons, stakeholders in school environments are better informed and equipped to be proactive in school safety management,” he said.