By Kehinde Oluwatayo
Stakeholders in the education sector in Ondo State have been urged to beef up security around schools in the state to prevent students from kidnappers whose targets now are school children.
Some experts made the call in separate interviews with The Hope while reacting to the incessant kidnapping of students in the northern part of the country.
They posited that stakeholders should not conclude that what is happening in the north can not happen in the south west and advised them to prevent it.
Speaking with our reporter on the issue, Secretary of Parents Teachers Association, PTA, in the state, Dr Toyin Olobayo said schools in the state and even the country are not secured enough to combat insecurity.
According to him, most schools in the state do not have security guards while few have unqualified and untrained personnel as security. adding that some were being paid by PTA.
His words: “There is the need to employ qualified hands as night and day guards in our schools and equip them because most of our schools don’t even have security guards. Majority of our schools don’t have gate. So our schools are not secured.
“Majority of these guards can not read or write. They are not equipped. They don’t have uniform. They allow every dick and Harry to enter into the schools because they don’t even know who is who.”
Olobayo who said all stakeholders including government, parents and the students should join hands to ensure security in schools noted that PTA has the wherewithal to pay salaries of security guards.
The President of All Nigerians Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools ANCOPPS, Ondo State chapter, Mr Ajinde Mebawondu stated that almost all security guards in schools have retired while the remaining are too old to secure the schools.
“Government knows the importance of security when it employed them. But they have retired and only few remaining are aged. Apart from that, they are toothless dogs, no gun to confront criminals, they don’t even know how to behave in situation like that.
“Something serious has to be done and urgently. There was a time government employed the services of military men in almost all the schools to maintain discipline among students. Such a thing could be done at this crucial time because fencing all the schools now will be too much for government,” he said
Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers in the state, Comrade Victor Amoko advised that perimeter fencing should be done and security personnel should be put particularly in boarding schools.
Amoko who also said that majority of the schools are not secured called on stakeholders to do more to ensure the security of the students.
“Prevention is better than cure. Let us not conclude that these kidnappers can not come to the south west. If they are doing it over there and are successful, they may want to try it here. So we must do everything possible to prevent it,” he said.