By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA- SECURITY of teachers can guarantee 40 million Nigerian children access to quality education,the federal government has said.
The government insisted that over 40million children would enjoy increased access and quality of education, once the safety of students and teachers in and out of school was guaranteed.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said this,Thursday, in Abuja, at the inauguration of the “Safe to School, Be Seen, Be Safe,” initiative and unveiling of customised reflective children safety jackets and uniforms for cadet and school crossing guards.
While noting that the Safe School Programme was a project of the Federal Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Children Accident Prevention Initiative,CAPI, he said safety of children will increase access to education, while safety of teachers will improve the quality of education, all aimed at increasing the country’s manpower.
Represented by the Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukuemeka Nwajiuba, the Minister explained that the customised not for sale reflective jackets for school children and other accident prevention infrastructures would provide immediate care and support for the children.
He said: “This initiative, especially, is to prevent children from sustaining injuries while trekking to and from neighbouring schools. It is in pursuant of the good health and well-being of school children and realisation of quality education.
“The initiative is designed to primarily aid the protection of school children from road accidents associated with motor vehicles, motorcycles, tricycles while crossing our busy network of roads to and from their respective schools.
“As enshrined in the Memorandum of Understanding, the programme encompasses a phased kitting of school children within the ages of four to 14 years in selected schools at the Federal and state levels, with customised reflective jackets and armband free of charge.”
Providing insight on the need to collaborate with CAPI, the Minister said it was to address the obvious challenges across every facet of accidents involving school children, as well as charting a new course in combating the carnage among such children.
“Occasionally, some children that trek through busy roads to their schools are knocked down, injured, maimed for life or even killed instantly. We are aware of the emotional trauma parents go through and the socioeconomic impact therein.”
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouk who commended the “innovative and worthwhile initiative,” pledged her ministry’s readiness to fully support the programme geared toward empowering 40 million school children with accident prevention kits.
Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education and Services, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere,
said the National Assembly would continue to support the initiatives that would encourage students to go to school.
“While we continue to express concerns over the fate of our children in captivity and those in the hands of terrorists, kidnappers, it gives us the room to reflect on the rights of our children to good education, social security, safety and love.
“Our children have always made us proud and as such, it provides the government at all levels to rededicate themselves in the domestication of the Child Rights Act, to reposition basic education in Nigeria,” he said.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, described the initiative as laudable, as it would bring about consciousness, knowledge and leadership on the part of the students.
He advised students to always strive to keep away from danger, just as the Holy Quran and the Holy Bible have admonished.
“As we celebrate our children, this innovation will bring about consciousness of security, knowledge and leadership,” he said.
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