By Paul Efiong Abuja
Teachers in Federal Government Colleges across the country have been charged to cultivate security consciousness in the minds of their students.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arch Sonny Echono gave the charge on Wednesday, at a sensitization meeting organized for the teachers on ‘Education in Emergency Preparedness and Response’ in Abuja.
According to him, the maiden workshop organized for Vice Principals (Special Duties) in Federal Government Colleges in December 2016 was successful and rewarding, adding that the Ministry decided to extend the gesture to teachers who are seen to the closer to the students and have the behavioural propensity to influence students conduct.
The Permanent Secretary, who was represented by the Director of Tertiary Education in the Ministry Mr. Joel Ojo, noted with regret the growing rate of insecurity in the country and by extension the schools, stressing the urgent need to awaken security consciousness and preparedness in the school communities.
Arc.Echono cited cases of fire outbreak, flooding, virus epidemic, kidnapping, building collapse and breakdown of law and order as some of the incidences recorded.
He particularly made references to the fire incidences at Federal Government Colleges Efon- Alaye and Daura; as well as the recent virus epidemic at Queens College, Lagos “There is therefore the need to prepare staff and students for the unexpected” he said.
Earlier, in a welcome address, the Director of Education Support Services, Mrs. JustinaIbe said that the overwhelming student population and the absence of perimeter fencing in some of the Colleges increase their vulnerability.
Mrs. Ibe said that the meeting would expose participants to measures to prevent and control emergencies, even as she said that experts had been drawn from relevant emergency management bodies as resource persons.
Dr. Judith Giwa-Amu of UNICEF painted an unfortunate scenario of a promising student of Government Girls Science College; Dapchi in Yobe State Amina, whose hope of becoming a medical doctor has been dashed by her kidnap on February 19, 2018.
According to her, if some measure of security consciousness was in place, the unfortunate incident may have been averted.