Mr Ike Onyechere, Chairman, Organising Committee, 2018 Safe School Leadership Empowerment Conference and Awards, has decried the rising cases of kidnapping and other crimes in educational institutions across the country.
Onyechere, who made the assertion in Abuja at the ongoing conference, called for continued advocacy on safety and security in schools by education stakeholders.
The educationist said that two recent reports by the United Nations indicated the enormity of the challenge of security in educational institutions across the country.
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According to him, the two reports indicate that killings and attacks are on the increase in schools.
“The reports also indicate that schools will continue to be targets of choice for terrorism, insurgency, kidnapping and other crimes, making it imperatives to beef up security,” he said.
Onyechere, who is also the Chairman, Exam Ethics Marshal International, explained that the conference and awards were components of the Safe School Empowerment Project (SASEP), which was launched in 2014.
He added that SASEP was launched with the support and facilitation of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC), Federal Fire Service and the National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA).
He said the project was coordinated by Safe School Academy International in collaboration with Exam Ethics Marshals International and Ethics Resource Centre Nigeria.
Onyechere said that SASEP since its inception had recorded success stories, which include distribution of 390,000 safe school manuals and training kits to educational institutions.
“Since the launch in August 2014, four Leadership Empowerment Conferences have been organised and attended by 2,475 principal officers of educational institutions and agencies.
“10, 750 safe school ambassadors and first respondents have been trained and deployed,” he said.
Also speaking, Maj.-Gen. Matthias Efeovbokhan (Rtd) of Nigeria Defence Academy Consultancy Service limited, in his presentation, said the level of consciousness among parents on security and safety best practices was low.
Efeovbahkan, however, urged participants and everyone to evoke the consciousness of security and safety best practices.
He said the Safe School Project had contributed in developing security and safety consciousness in educational institutions across the country.
“Safe School Academy International has helped develop this consciousness through books and manuals distributed to educational institutions.
“These safe school manual are very comprehensive body of knowledge on protection, precautionary, preventive and mitigation best practices, protocols and measures against security risks, threats and vulnerability in educational institutions.”
Newsmen report that the purpose of the conference is to bring leaders of educational institutions together with security agencies to update their knowledge on contemporary security situations.