October 20, 2017

Safety of the child first, in any engagement

Safety of the child first, in any engagement


By Funmi Ajumobi

…as the nation cannot afford to continue to lose children to negligence

The future of a country is its young people. We cannot afford to continy to lose our children, our future to negligence of whatsoever and whoever is involved in  incidents.

In as much as children will want to explore their environment and school too want to expose children to their environment, there should be caution to the risk assessments that accompany such move.

The tragic event that happened in Kaduna, last week, where students who went for excursion were drowned in a Kaduna river. A school that decided to go for excursion on water should have taken all necessary safety measures for the children. Were there safety jackets for the children? Did they find out how safe it was at the time to go on water when the tide will not be high? How many parents gave their consent before they embarked on that journey? For a school to embark on risky journey like this, did they have insurance cover for the children?

Now that lives of these children had been cut short, who bears the brunt of the situation? Parents of course. Though it was very unfortunate that these future leaders who went for excursion, for them to have rounded education which is beyond the four corners of the classroom, met with what terminated their lives. But the pains may never leave the memory of their parents in life.

Schools, neighbours, government and the President may pay condolence visits and some may even sue the school and get justice but can these ever return the children to their parents? It is time parents begin to monitor schools their children attend and stand their feet that schools should always alert them for such risky decision. The issue is that many schools add excursion money into the school fees every term and they must show the parents that they used the money not minding the risk, but just to account for the money.

To our government, it is now time to formulate policies for schools, especially private owners, to curb their excesses. If they must take children out, there should be safety rules to adhere to. There must be insurance for the children. Also, consent of the parents should be mandatory, because in the issue at hand in Kaduna, parents said the school must provide their children, that they did not give consent to school authorities to take their children for excursion.

However, Vanguard Kiddies commiserate with the parents and families of the five children who lost their lives in the incident. We pray that God will grant them the heart to bear the irreparable loss.