Ensuring Safety In Nigerian Schools

When we talk about ensuring safety in Nigerian schools, we need to start by discussing the parameters for choosing the right school for your child. So many people choose schools for many reasons. But, what are the most important elements to consider when deciding on a school for your child?

This was a conversation that Yetty Williams, Abimbola Ogundere and Taiwo Akinlami had recently. During it, they covered many of the elements of choosing the right school for your child and learning what is necessary to ensure safety in your child’s school.

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How To Choose The Right School For Your Child.

Firstly, you need to think about your child’s needs. Sometimes, we forget this and we put it at the bottom of the list, what exactly does your child need? You need to ask and answer questions such as; who is my child? Does my child need a structured environment? Does my child need a less structured environment?  What type of work is done in the school? Is it challenging?

Some schools are very big on academics more than others, whilst some have a more balanced approach. What sort of space will my child thrive in? Does this learning environment foster creativity? Does my child have any special learning needs? What is my child’s learning style? Is my child more musical? Is my child more artistic?  What are the family goals for your child? These are some of the questions to ask.

Also, what should be considered after your child’s needs are the school factors. You have to ensure that the school is clean, has a great ambience, and is well equipped to deliver on its promises. You need to check that the school’s vision and mission align with your family’s. Technology is also important. Is technology integrated into teaching and learning and daily activities?  What is their security like? CCTV is not a luxury, it is a necessity for schools. Be sure that they have good child protection and safeguarding policy, as well as a crisis management policy.

Furthermore, in ensuring that your children are safe in their schools, you need to assess the value system and the quality of staff a school employs. Be sure that the values of the school align with your family values. The value of the school will reflect in the behaviour of the staff members. Values such as; responsibility, respect, accountability, discipline are important. The values of a school determine the school culture. It reflects in the way the school communicates and in its recruitment process. As a parent, you must deep dive, research, and know what you are looking for.

A School’s Safeguarding Policy

The protection of students within the school system is supposed to be a foundation commitment without which a school should not run. The safeguarding and child protection system of a school should be codified into a policy, broken down into processes in which everybody within the school system, including the parents, and the children are periodically trained to understand their roles in ensuring safety. As parents, we cannot afford to assume that a school is safe for our children. Safety is to a school, what blood is to life.

In a system like ours, where there are no clear-cut government policies on safety in schools, the responsibility to safeguard our children lies on us as parents. As parents, we must partner with these schools to ensure safety. We need to ask the right and critical questions. The number 1 responsibility of a school is to protect because you can’t teach a sick or dead child. The school has a duty of care to protect your child.

Safeguarding and the School Staff Recruitment

Another, important thing to consider is the recruitment process of staff members in a school. Safe recruitment are so important because if there is no access, havoc can not be wrecked. How does the school scrutinize the individuals that are recruited? What are the systems in place to ensure a proper background check to authenticate the identity of the members of staff? A child protection and safeguarding system are paramount when recruiting staff members in a school.

safety in school

Online Safety

Most importantly, the issue of safety in the school used to be physical before the advent of COVID-19. Learning is now digital. So, we as parents must ask ourselves, how to keep our children safe online. No parent, will take their eight-year-old to Third Mainland Bridge and leave that child to find his way back home alone. The internet is 5 million times bigger than Broad Street.

So, how can you safeguard and ensure your child is safe online and that the school’s policy covers their safety online as well? You can join our Parenting Digital Club to learn more about safeguarding your children online. You can also register your child to watch this Online Safety video for free.

 

Ensuring safety in schools is a task that requires all hands on deck.

A school’s safeguarding policy must evolve to meet the demands and needs of the children in any society. The conversation on ensuring safety in Nigerian schools continues.

You can watch the full conversation here with Yetty Williams, Abimbola Ogundere, and Taiwo Akinlami.

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