Having mobile schools, setting up “observation points,” building fences around school, and hiring well-trained security guards will help prevent the mass abduction of schoolchildren by bandits and terrorists, the police have told northern governors.
Specifically, Sylvester Alabi, the police commissioner in Bauchi, said, “One way to ensure that girls are safe in schools is for the states to sign the SSD commitment. It is a political commitment by countries to do more to protect students and teachers during a state of insecurity. “We should make schools physically secure by building fences which improve the safety of girls in schools, erecting observation points where experienced and well-trained private securities could man.”
He added, “Government should also create mobile schools in Borno and other northern states that are bedevilled by terrorism and banditry.”
On Monday, Mr Alabi made the call at the 2021 International Day of the Girl Child policy dialogue in Bauchi.
The event was organised by the Bauchi State Universal Basic Education Board (BASUBEB) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Mr Alabi, represented by Rose Chollom, Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Finance and Administration, said the SSD commitment would protect girls in schools.
According to him, a closer working collaboration between state governments and security agencies will enhance the security network in schools.
Mr Alabi advised schools to set up police outposts with armed guards and patrol vehicles. He said this could be achieved by increasing funding to the education sector to ensure the protection of girls during armed conflict and address barriers to access quality education.
“More female teachers should be trained and employed to ensure retention and transition of adolescent girls in school. Female counsellors should be engaged to render appropriate counselling services to adolescent girls in school, especially during the period of insecurity, to encourage them not to drop out,” the police chief added. “Government should embark on massive sensitisation to educate parents on the need to shun traditions and cultures that discourage girl child education as well as encourage gender equality.”