As schools resumption commenced in Lagos State, it is important as parents and guardians to ask ourselves this important question of how safe is our children in schools. Parents must be concerned about the incessant rise in insecurity issues, kidnapping and other safety infractions in our schools .
The Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu has reiterated that the present administration in Lagos State is keen to ensure all school children are always safe. As such the education sector must be prepared to show their level of awareness and compliance for school safety.
“A secure and safe learning environment potentially allows students and staff to focus on the business of learning. Safe schools Lagos, (SSLAG) allows all stakeholders to play active roles in keeping children safe.”
SSLAG is an acronym for Safe Schools Lagos. A project launched in April 2022 by the Lagos State Safety Commission for ensuring a safety culture and compliance in schools and allied establishments where children are looked after, taught, coached or engaged in leisure or religious activities.
According to the Director General CEO of LSC (Lagos State Safety Commission), Mr Lanre Mojola SSLAG is a quality improvement programme in education that is implemented in collaboration with 5 MDAs. These are Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Ministry of Special Duties, SUBEB and office of Education Quality Assurance.
Mojola who spoke during the launch of SSLAG in April at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium Alausa, Ikeja said that SSLAG established a set of guidelines and standards for all schools to follow in ensuring the safety of lives and properties in these establishments. Therefore, SSLAG Assessors have been going round schools in the state to sensitise and signpost stakeholders to important regulatory requirements that must be satisfied in order to retain their licence or apply for a licence to operate as learning establishments. Furthering the objectives of SSLAG, School safety audits are billed to commence next week. 23dr of January 2023 to be precise.
“SSLAG is backed by the Lagos State Safety commission Law of 2011.
Hence, providing safe and conducive environment in schools like any other work environment is now law in Lagos State. Law No CI87 of July 2011 Section 9 A to I gives a firm foundation for the SSLAG Framework V.01 launched in April 2022.
This framework stipulates that all educational and learning facilities must have a safety license in order to operate.”
The Dg, Mr Mojola further said that parents are supposed to get involved by making sure their children schools are aware of this development. Relevant questions must be asked by parents and any concerns can be reported to LSC ( Lagos State Safety Commission) school safety desk under the Department for Public Safety and Wellness, Block 18b Alausa Secretariat Ikeja. Or contact SSLAG on https://safeschoolslagos.ng
The project Lead is Schoolrun Academy ably led by Dr Bisi Esuruoso who is a seasoned education consultant with a passion to change the landscape of education in Nigeria.
According to her, in line with SSLAG mandate to creating a safety culture and compliance in schools and allied establishments, SSLAG guidelines are useful for the development and maintenance of an effective Safety Management Systems (SMS) in education and learning settings.
“An SMS consists of emergency preparedness, Crisis management and Risk Assessment information and relevant policies thata support a whole school involvement in the implementation of the SMS which is integral to meeting the Compliance requirements stated in the SSLAG Framework / MS ( minimum standards).”
Mr Vinod Kaurani the Chief Operating Officer of SSLAG said that SSLAG is creatively using technologies to connect members of education ecosystems in a way that is unprecedented in the history of education in Nigeria as the SSLAG digital platform is billed for launch this month.
“This platform was developed for SSLAG by Telnet the developer for interswitch and ‘O Pay’ platforms. The calibre of collaborators on this project indicates the seriousness of the vision of Mr Governor to “creating a Lagos State of our dreams” to quote Gov Babajide Sanwo-olu “
In an SOS to Governor Sanwo-olu, a columnist with The Punch, Mr Lekan Sote, recalled that Lagos State is a modern metropolitan tech hub with a population of nearly 25 million people, a Gross Domestic Product of $133 billion and monthly Internally Generated Revenue of N45 billion.
“This state, the economic capital of Nigeria, which runs practically for 24 hours, seven days a week, is about 26.7 per cent of Nigeria’s economy. It would have been Africa’s 5th largest economy if it were a standalone country.”
According to Lekan Sote, such an economy deserves effective security and safety policies and calls on R Given to up the game of Lagos State security architecture.
It seems the Lagos State administration is waking up to on of the key indicators of a sustainable society. To put the state in the league of other cosmopolitan societies safety of lives and properties is pertinent. And in order to achieve the SDGs in education, school safety is germane. It is agreeable to say that only children who are safe and alive can learn and achieve their potentials.”