• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Military unveils guidelines for Safe Schools Initiative

Military unveils guidelines for Safe Schools Initiative

The defence headquarters has unveiled standard operating procedures for the Safe School Initiative, with a commitment to safeguarding education in conflict-prone areas.

Launched in response to the 2014 abduction of schoolgirls from Chibok, Borno State, the initiative aims to ensure that children affected by insecurity can continue their education safely.

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Primarily executed by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) with support from other security agencies, the standard operating procedure rollout for military personnel followed recent mass abductions, including the kidnapping of 287 pupils in Kaduna and 15 Tsangaya students in Sokoto State.

At the launch, Christopher Musa, the chief of defence staff, emphasised the importance of the standard procedure in guiding members of the armed forces in the implementation of the Safe School Initiative within legal frameworks.

He stated the commitment of the military to secure schools and learning institutions and the need for collaboration among security agencies in the current volatile security environment.

Musa urged stakeholders to work together to ensure the safety of school children, just as he stressed the collective responsibility of all citizens in safeguarding education.

Martin Luther Agwai, a retired army general, who also spoke at the event, highlighted the need for collective responsibility and citizen engagement in the initiative’s success.

Agwai emphasised the impact of insecurity on education quality and called for communities, governments, civil society, and NGOs to contribute to creating safe school environments.

Halima Iliya, head of financing at the Safe Schools Secretariat and technical working committee of the ministry of finance, acknowledged the longstanding crisis in Nigeria’s educational system, including kidnappings and terror attacks.

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She attributed delays in the Safe School Initiative to policy gaps and inadequate budget allocations.