Lagos, July 10, 2014 (NAN) The Lagos State Government will beef up security in schools to ensure safety of pupils, an official said on Thursday.
The Executive Secretary, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, Mrs Gbolahun Daodu, said the measure was to avert any unpleasant developments similar to those in some parts of the country.
Daodu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the government was not oblivious of the security challenges being experienced in some parts of the country.
She said that teaching and non-teaching staff in schools had been sensitised to be more alert to happenings around their environment.
“We are aware of the security challenges in the country and you would have seen that the state government is doing a lot to contain the situation.
“We have told our head teachers and non-teaching staffs in all our schools, whether primary, junior or senior secondary schools, to be more vigilant.
“We have told them to be more security conscious.
“Efforts are being made to ensure that additional hands are posted to the schools, either Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) officers or other security personnel,“ she said.
Daodu said that government was also considering the employment of professional security guards in schools and other areas where they are lacking.
“Generally, we do not have enough security personnel around, except if we will employ from the private security guard companies.
“The government agency in charge of security is working towards that ,’’ she added. Meanwhile, the state wing of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), has called for the retraining of personnel of the Neighborhood Watch Security and other groups employed by government to secure the schools.
The State Chairman of the NUT, Mr Segun Raheem, said that the vigilance groups should be trained, to enable them to be able to combat insurgency and terrorist attacks.
Raheem, who was reacting to the attacks on some schools in Northern Nigeria by insurgents, said that no part of the country was completely safe from their attacks.
“Security is extremely important at any gathering of youths and children; schools must be made safe for teaching and learning, the environment must also be conducive.”
Raheem, who commended the effort of the government in providing security in schools, also urged governments at various levels to be more pro-active with regard to security issues.
“A stitch in time, they say, saves nine; we should not wait until we experience insurgency before seeking a remedy.
“Government should be a step ahead at any given point in time,” the chairman said.
The unionist said that in the past, public schools in Lagos State were secured by military personnel, who also assisted in curtailing hooliganism.
The State President, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Chief Yomi Otubela, told NAN that some private schools in the state had installed Close Circuit Television cameras(CCTV).
Otubela said that the cameras were installed to monitor strange movements around and within the school environment.
“Aside from the cameras, the services of trained security personnel in mufti have also been engaged and children have been advised not to talk to strangers.
“No stranger is allowed to come for any child in the schools anymore, while members of staff have been advised to be security conscious,” he said.
Otubela, however, said that there would be a sensitisation seminar on security for teachers and staff of private schools in October.
Also, the state President, All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), Mr Babatunde Philips, also urged school authorities to be vigilant and security conscious.(NAN)