The police have asked parents and school administrators to prioritize the safety of children.
Schools reopened for term III on Monday.
While addressing the press on Monday, Police Spokesman Fred Enanga said schools that are highly vulnerable have very poor security mechanisms, such as lone security guards, guards who are advanced in age, the use of bows and arrows, not having CCTV cameras, and weak school fences.
According to Enanga, these upgrades are essential in deterring potential threats and providing a protective shield for the young learners.
“We want to inform the public that we encourage all school administrators to review their security emergency preparations, supervision, and other security fundamentals, which include visitor procedures and how to access school buildings,” said Enanga.
Enanga urged schools to implement a thorough examination of all returning students, stating that,
“This crucial step aims to identify and address any signs of mistreatment or neglect, ensuring the well-being of each child as they embark on their academic journey.”
He added that “this is common because, during school holidays, there are perpetrators of child abuse; even amongst the families, there are incidences of child torture, so we always encourage that children are carefully examined.”
Enanga also directed attention towards the crucial role played by parents during drop-offs. He emphasized the need for safe habits, especially in designated safety zones around schools.
Parents of boarding school students were advised against leaving their children to navigate the journey independently. Instead, they were encouraged to accompany them, fostering an added layer of protection.
To combat the risks associated with motorcycle transport, Enanga declared the mandatory use of helmets for all school-bound children. This measure aims to reduce the likelihood of accidents and mitigate potential injuries.
He further stated that “80% of all head and brain injuries result from failure to use helmets while on motorcycles.”
Enanga urged vigilance against potential dangers, cautioning against shortcuts and advising constant awareness of surroundings to deter stalkers, whether on foot, motorcycle, or vehicle.
Furthermore, parents were encouraged to help their children memorize essential contact information such as phone numbers and home addresses, ensuring they have a lifeline to reach out to in case of emergency.
Enanga cautioned against the presence of drug dealers who have infiltrated schools, utilizing seemingly harmless snacks laced with narcotics. He urged school administrators to exercise extreme caution and vigilance and reminded parents to prohibit their children from carrying unnecessary cash, which could potentially make them targets.