The Lagos State Government is set to deploy about 5,000 Neighborhood Safety Marshals to public schools in the state to reinforce its promise to ensure safety of lives and property.
The Director General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo, disclosed this as a guest at a summit to advocate against negligence in schools.
Themed “The Imperative of Safety in Educational Institutions,” the summit which was organised by a non-governmental organization, Advocacy Against Negligence in Schools (AANIS), held at the NECA Event Centre in Alausa, Ikeja on Friday, November 18.
The DG said the Ambode-led administration was quite aware that public schools had become soft targets for abductors judging from past incidents and as such decided to deploy well-equipped safety marshals to ensure students in the state are well protected and parents can be sure of their children’s safety while in school.
Furthermore, she said the Lagos State Safety Commission’s School Safety Campaign project has also done a lot in safety advocacy in the educational sector in the state.
She added, “as part of ongoing efforts to secure the children, lot of public schools with no fence in the past now have fences erected there and many dilapidated schools in the state now have habitable structures due to the effort of the governor and his deputy, Mrs. Idiat Adebule, who oversees the education ministry as commissioner.”
The DG stressed the need for all private and public schools in the state to have an effective child protection policy aimed at reducing cases of molestation and other forms of abuse which may jeopardize the lives of the children.
“The Office of the Lagos State Quality Assurance on Education will not tolerate cases of negligence of our children in schools and as such carry out trainings, sensitisations and evaluations of schools in the state to ensure standards and compliance at all levels by school operators.
“We also partner with other agencies such as the Safety Commission and non- governmental organisations like AANIS to enlighten heads of schools and proprietors,” she said.
The Executive Director of AANIS, Mrs. Idy Toye-Arulogun, said her organisation was honoured to have government as well as other stakeholders in the education sector participate in the summit to discuss issues of safety of children in schools.
She explained that the annual summit was instituted in honour of her late daughter who lost her life due to negligence in her school, and as such her organisation has made it a point of duty to partner other stakeholders to stamp out negligence in schools across the country.
According to her, the organisation’s major mode of operation is to sensitise school owners and the general public on ways to address issues of negligence in schools.
Among other dignitaries at the event are: Director, Research and Development, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mrs. Ronke Odeneye; Medical Director, Intercare Clinics Ltd, Dr. Gbenga Omonije; Child Protection Specialist, Mr. Taiwo Akinlami; and Executive Director, Rely Supply Ltd, Mrs. ‘Fayo Williams.