By Evelyn Omotoye
The Ondo State Government has reiterated its comittment to prioritize safety and security issues with school children in the state.
The State Deputy Governor, Hon. Agboola Ajayi gave the assertion recently at the official declaration and opening of Save Our Schools Nigerian Project held at Aquinas College in Akure.
Ajayi who stated that the initiative of the Non Governmental Organisation, “Save Our Schools Foundation”is laudable and timely, saying it is coming at a critical time of security challenges currently being experienced in schools.
While noting that the safety and security of lives and property of the citizenry is the responsibility of the government, the deputy governor said the Akeredolu led administration is doing everything possible to ensure that every child in school in the state is safe and well secured.
His words: “Save Our Schools” initiative is a welcome idea and it cannot be coming at a better time than now. It is the duty of the government to save our children from all the social vices facing them and we are doing everything possible to safely and protection of all our children in their various schools”.
He added that Safety and Security issues could also be packaged and incorporated into the school syllabus so that it would be taught at all levels to help both the teachers and students to know what to do in the face of any security challenge.
Ajayi, while assuring the foundation of the Akeredolu government s partnership in the project, he advised the project team to work hand in hand with the government as they would need some policies implementation to enhance its success.
In her welcome address, the state coordinator of the project, Mrs. Olanrewaju Oyelade stated that the initiative became imperative following the current trend of security challenges facing the children in their various schools in the country.
Oyelade said the project is designed to educate youths of all ages to stay safe and be security conscious both at home and while in school to prevent school violence as well as reduce the engagement of students in other social vices to the barest minimum, if not total eradication.
The Chairperson of the NGO, Mrs Latifat Sanusi from the USA commended the Akeredolu government for its response and readiness to partner the foundation on the project saying it is a giant stride for the state to key into it, to ensure the menace is curbed.
She noted that the initiative which is supported by Bill Gate is a serious course to fight by all and sundry, urging all stakeholders to partner with the foundation towards preventing school violence, and kidnapping among other security challenges to ensure a safe place for the young ones.
In her remarks, the Federal Commissioner of the Public Complaint Commission, Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Fayase stated that the need to save the school children especially girl child who she said are more vulnerable, cannot be overemphasized, positing that several complaints on insecurity issues in schools have been lodged in her commission.