70% of schools lack security, vulnerable to kidnappings

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The National Safe School Response Coordination Centre Commander, Hameed Abodunrin, has lamented the lack of security officers, perimeter fences, and any other security measures to safeguard schools across the country.

Abodunrin, made this known to our correspondent in Abuja while discussing the issue of the various kidnapping incidences.

He further disclosed that approximately 70 per cent of Nigerian schools are without adequate security measures, making them susceptible to frequent kidnapping incidents.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund over 1,680 children were abducted and about 180 killed in attacks on Nigerian schools by non-state actors in the last 10 years.

Some of the schools affected were the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State; Government Girls’ Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State; Government Science College in Kagara, Niger State; and the Apostolic Faith Group of Schools, Emure, Ekiti State, among others.

Abodunrin explained, “The essence of our center is to coordinate the efforts of various stakeholders, including security agencies and educational authorities, to address these deficiencies.

“Initially, schools were hesitant to register with the national database, fearing additional taxation, but the focus has shifted towards enhancing their security through better coordination and rapid response capabilities.

“Registration helps us to quickly locate and reach schools during emergencies without needing to ask for directions, thanks to technologies like Google Maps.”

Abodunrin also highlighted the challenges posed by poor telecommunications networks, particularly in remote areas like Kaduna, which hinder timely communication during crises.

He called on state governments to ensure that all schools across the country were properly registered and protected.

He added, “The Federal Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the center, is now urging governors across the country to ensure all schools are registered and adequately protected. This move is part of a broader strategy to enhance the safety of schools and their students across Nigeria, aiming to establish a proactive and responsive security environment amidst rising concerns over the safety of young learners.”

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