There has been much dialogue on this issue especially since the unfortunate incident in Dapchi town in Maiduguri where 110 girls were abducted after the Chibok incident.
Many have advocated that the Military, Police, and even the Civil Defence Corps should be posted to schools. I would want to say that the call to post uniform men to school will not work.
What the nation is facing relating to abduction in schools especially those of our female hostels are multi-headed problems from inadequate facilities, apathy among the State Governments, school authorities, and lack of knowledge or willingness to apply simple, homemade security measures.
- School Authority – The school Authority should undergo security training to know the areas of vulnerabilities relatively to the threats within the school / villages /town environment. This will help school authorities to provide or recommend changes to enhance security within the school complex itself.
The role of the State Government to provide needed funding and meet the various request is much important because at the end of the day, what we are grappling with is reputational issues which has shown that Nigeria is not a safe country.
- Emphasis on Internal than Relying on External Factors
It is important that our schools and its management should NOT rely entirely on the EXTERNAL (Police, Army etc) for their primary safety and security. Rather they should develop in house preparedness tactics by being able to do the following:
- Risk / Threat Analysis of their environment. – What are the threats that they face? What are the areas of vulnerabilities, Has there been any loss or impact within their zone or states closer to them? Do you have required resources to mitigate or respond to incidents?
- Develop ability to respond – The worst thing that can happen to human being is to wait for its death when we are have the capability to think, plan and response in an organized way.
- The issue of Safety, Security and Business Continuity are now merging to become one. Many of our experts are vast in one area while neglecting other areas. My people perish for lack of knowledge. We must develop our knowledge capability to tackle all issues relating to loss of lives and abduction of our children in schools.
- All Secondary Schools and higher tertiary should have in place a structured Business Continuity as preparedness plan to mitigate and have the capability to do the following as part of its responsibility to life safety:
- Establish a capability to promptly warn personnel
- Protective Actions. Organize team(s) and establish procedures to evacuate, shelter, or shelter-in-place personnel
- Arrange for a competent rescue capability to provide rescue services
- Notification and Notification Response Monitoring. Communicate with internal and external interested parties
- Accountability. Establish a capability to account for the safety and well-being of personnel
- Medical. Ensure there is a capability compliant with regulations to promptly administer first aid or medical treatment and transport the sick or injured
- Counseling. Identify or provide access to mental health professionals
- Security. Maintain or provide site, building, and or area security for protection of personnel, physical assets, and information during and following an incident
Placing or posting of policemen, military personnel to schools would only make us laughing stock among nations instead of carryout out a well-thought out plan which embraces Safety, Security and Emergency Operations which can only be derived from the knowledge of BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING (BCP).
- Philip Keshiro DRI Nigeria, 08054561141, firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com