In a bid to end insurgency and to starve off abductors from schools, the Federal Government has taken security education to the doorsteps of a government colleges.
Revealing this, while inaugurating a central planning committee of a model called “Save Our Children project,” Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, said security education in schools had become imperative as a result of recent security challenges.
He said It was no longer news that teenagers had been the most affected, in security matter, while drawing examples from incidents of abductions and outright killings of secondary school students in Boni Yaji, Chibok and Dapchi.
He said these unfortunate incidents may have been avoided if the students had been exposed to security awareness information. Adamu said over the past decade, Nigeria had grown more insecure, largely due to ethno-religious crisis and Boko Haram insurgency in the North as well as kidnapping, cultism and ritual killings in the South.
Most worrisome, he said, was when educational sector became the targets of the insurgents to unleash their terror.
Said Adamu: “Today, parents and guardians are worried about the protection and safety of their children in the face of terrorists attack, ethnic and communal clashes and kidnapping. This has tended to create fear in the minds of students, teachers and parents and had, in many cases, resulted in the withdrawal of students from schools, outright closure of schools for long periods especially in North eastern Nigeria, poor school attendance, production of half backed graduates and persistent rejection of posting by teachers to crisis- prone areas,”
The minister stressed that the safety of the school child was of primary concern to government and other stakeholders in the education sector, saying that is why it was always willing to embrace and collaborate with any organisation on how to address security challenges in our schools. He said owing to the economic situation of the country, there was the need for “various stakeholders to partner with government to generate revenue to execute the project.”
He, therefore, called on corporate organisations, development partners, professionals in security organisations and philanthropists to partner with the committee for successful conduct of the security awareness programme in the Federal Government colleges. The project, which is an initiative of Security Awareness and Justice Foundation, an NGO charged with conflict prevention and security awareness, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education. Also speaking at the event, chairman of the foundation, Sir Mike Okiro, who is a former Inspector General of Police, said the project would adopt the “instruct the instructor” method in which principals and teachers of the secondary schools would be trained on basic security awareness guides in a simulated classroom environment using tested security experts as tutors.
He said teachers will, after the training, go back to their various schools to impart the knowledge acquired at the workshop on their students.
Okiro emphasised that the focus of the project shall be children, who, according to global terrorism index, insurgents and terrorists regularly feast on for their recruitment and training.