By Elizabeth Uwandu
THE question on how,”How Safe is your Child in School?’ formed the basis of “2015 Movement Against Negligence in School, MANIS, Child Health & Safety Week Summit” which had stakeholders from the education, health and safety sectors, as well as students and parents, marshalL out ways to improve on the overall safety of a child, whom they agreed is the responsibility of all.
Guest speakers at the summit included Dr. (Mrs) Ronke Akinlembo, Mrs Adun Akinyemiju, Proprietor of Dansol High School, Dr. Gertrude Ogunkeye of Child Paediatric Hospital, Mrs Fayo Williams, Executive Director, Rely Supply Limited. And Mrs Olabisi Ariyo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Lagos State. Others were Mr. Kunle Olusola, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Lagos and representatives of FRSC and Oyo State governor’s wife.
Speaking on the idea behind the summit, the founder, Mr. Toye Arulogun said the need to fight and ensure that adequate measures are put in place to reduce to the barest minimum,death of students occasioned by negligence on the part of school authorities formed the basis of the summit.
A representative of parent, Dr Ronke Akinlembo, said the safety of a child first of all rests on the shoulders of the parents who determine the location of the child’s school.
She said “parents should not choose schools based on financial status or on relationship with owners or stakeholders of a school but on the location and security measures put in place by the school in cases of illness or accident.”
Mrs. Adun Akinyemiju said the safety of a child in school rests on school owners and their staff by providing well structured clinic with resident doctor and nurses.
She advocated for proper training and orientation of staff to give them a sense of responsibility on children placed in their care.
For Dr. Gertrude Ogunkeye, “no parent wants to send his/her child to school and would not want them back, hence parents should choose schools with care and also provide records of them to the school.”
She listed measures to be put in place by school authorities to ensure adequate safety of the child to include upgrading of medical forms in line with current practice, provision of treated net for doors and windows, compulsory house master\mistress, availability of portable water, regular fumigation of the school’s environment and yearly health screening of the staff and students.