In a bid to ensure a secure learning environment in Nigerian schools, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has introduced the Safe Schools Response Squad in Bauchi. This squad will collaborate closely with other security agencies to curb the rising attacks on schools, students, and teachers, aiming to establish a robust and secure learning atmosphere, leadership reports.
During the squad’s recent launch, Mr. Ilelaboye Oyejide, the NSCDC Bauchi State commandant, stated that the squad’s primary focus is to provide security for universities, polytechnics, colleges, and boarding schools in the state. The federal government’s ratification of the Safe Schools Declaration in 2018 mandates the NSCDC, in coordination with other state security agencies, to implement this initiative.
Commandant Oyejide emphasized that the Safe Schools Initiative, by addressing armed conflicts in education, aims to mitigate incidents such as bombings, kidnappings, and the killing of both students and teachers. He expressed confidence that the initiative’s effective implementation would alleviate the challenge of out-of-school children in Bauchi, which the state is actively addressing through various policies and programs.
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Furthermore, Oyejide highlighted that the initiative would also address safety and security issues faced by students on campuses, including sexual and child abuses, assault, and theft. To facilitate the initiative’s success, emergency hotlines have been established to receive complaints and distress calls, ensuring prompt action to safeguard students and government structures across the state’s 20 local governments.
The initiative comes in response to the increased threats faced by public schools nationwide, with notable incidents like the 2014 abduction of Chibok School Girls by Boko Haram and, more recently, the kidnapping of students at Federal University Gusau.