A Safe School Compliant Study conducted by Safe School Academy International indicates that 80 percent of primary and secondary schools in Nigeria are unsafe.
The details of the study which was carried out in different areas of the state, with the support of Exam Ethics Marshall International (EEMI), was revealed in Abuja on Saturday.
Mr Ike Onyechere, the Coordinating Consultant, Safe School Compliance Study Group, and Founder of EEMI, disclosed that, of the schools surveyed, 80 percent did not have in place measures to check security threats and risks.
He said a total 1,200 schools which were sampled were selected from the six geo-political zones in Nigeria.
“50 safe school factors are considered including: knowledge of safe school best policies, practices and protocols by Proprietors and Heads of Schools; quality of safety and security tools, equipment and infrastructure.
“Others are capacity, fitness, and training of security personnel; identification systems for staff, students, parents, and visitors; security risk audit of school in relations to location.
“The factors considered also included emergency preparedness plan in relation to peculiar security risk; first responders and emergency response teams.
“The level of non-compliance to safety and security issues is shocking against the background of clear, loud and regular warnings that schools are now targets of choice for terrorists, insurgents, militants, kidnappers, cultists, scammers and other criminals,” Onyechere said.
He decried the rising spate of school attacks globally, stating that 396 schools were under attack in African and Middle East countries, as per an August 21 UNICEF report.
“The question then is why, despite all the warnings and incidences, are schools not taking the issue of safe schools initiative seriously?
“There are two core reasons, proprietors and heads do not appreciate their roles and responsibilities as Chief Security Officers of their institutions.
“They erroneously believe that security of their institutions is sole responsibilities of governments and security agencies.
“The second reason is that parents have not started considering safety and security as important factors for choosing schools.
“Nigerians must commend the efforts of security agencies including the Nigeria Military, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Fire Service.
“They should also commend others, which include Federal Road Safety Corps and National Emergency Management Agency; without their work, attacks on schools and consequential casualties would have worsened,” he said.
Onyechere moved to applaud security agencies in the country for making the Annual National Safe School Consultative Conferences a reality.
He stressed that through these conferences, leaders and stakeholders in the education sector will learn from recent attacks on schools globally and put measures in place to counter such occurrences.
He, therefore, urged all parties concerned to cash in on the conferences in a bid to ensure safer schools in the country.