The Lagos State Government through the Joint Task Force on Implementation of the Executive Order on Safeguarding and Child Protection has commenced monitoring and assessment across the Six Education Districts in the State.
The members of the Joint Task Force comprise top level representatives of the Office of Education Quality Assurance, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Lagos State Safety Commission, State Universal Basic Education Board, Child Protection Network and Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency.
According to the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, the monitoring exercise which began on the 31st of October at the Lagos City College, Sabo-Yaba has so far engaged over 200 schools in Education Districts 4 and 5, whilst over 90 schools have been visited to ascertain and measure compliance in these districts.
On the spot assessments were conducted at the schools to confirm the practical implementation of the policy and identify strengths and areas for improvement.
Whilst speaking at the engagement, representative of the Office of Education Quality Assurance, Mr. Kamaldeen Akodu elaborated on the need for schools to put precautionary measures in place to ensure a safe learning environment.
Similarly, representative of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mr. Jubril Yakub informed school Administrators of the essence of the exercise, highlighting the fact that it is not punitive in nature rather corrective. He further explained the reporting procedures to be adopted in schools.
Representative of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mrs. Ajoke Oshokoya emphasized on the importance of having safety measures in schools. According to her, certain security measures such as having security personnel, safety equipments, conducting safety training, well maintained facilities for a hazard free environment, are expected to be put in place to ensure the general well-being and security of students, staff and visitors.
It would be recalled that the State Government in December, 2016 ratified the Executive Order (NO.E0/AA08 of 2016) establishing the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy. The policy is to be mandatorily adopted by all child-centred institutions to ensure that the rights of children in their care are safeguarded and adequately protected even as clear-cut protocols for handling reports and disclosures of abuse are clearly defined.
The ultimate aim of the monitoring exercise is to ascertain the level of adoption and implementation of the Executive Order across all Six Education Districts in Lagos State.
ADEJOKE LADENEGAN -OGINNI
Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency