Lagos moves to tackle negligence among school officials in handling children


The Lagos State Government on Tuesday vowed to step up its monitoring of schools in order to ensure that officials put in proper measures to ensure the protection of children.

Executive Secretary, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA), Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi spoke at a Stakeholders’ Meeting for the 2022 Intervention Report on Safeguarding and Child Protection in Schools in Lagos State.

According to Vivour-Adeniyi, while in school, some children had been physically and sexual abused, saying that the state government really frowned at such.

She said: ”We had a couple of sexual abuse allegations made against teachers, school bus drivers, janitors. We had physical abuse, sexual abuse.”

The Executive Secretary stated that majority of the cases could had been avoided if relevant safeguarding measures were put in place in the schools.

Vivour-Adeniyi revealed how two children were killed in 2022 as a result of negligence from school officials.

She disclosed that the first death was a case of drowning at the school pool, while the second was a case of the child being ran down by a vehicle, after crossing the school gate, without vigilance from the school officials.

She said the Joint Task Force on Safeguarding and Child Protection, in the past one year, visited several schools where it received child protection and safeguarding concerns, saying that as a result of these visitations, the Task Force came up with the end of year report.

According to her, the agency deemed it expedient to have this roundtable meeting, which is a two-day programme, to conduct a postpartum assessment of these different cases, understand the trends, understand lessons that could learn and forge a way forward from a more preventive lens.

”So that it is not until these cases happen, that we have to respond and it is important that we learn from our mistakes or errors, or from history, from the past, with a view to knowing the way forward in issues that pertain to safeguarding and child protection in schools,” she said.

She said that findings during the visitations revealed that there was no level of awareness about the existence of the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy in schools.

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Vivour-Adeniyi said there was a low level of awareness about support services that schools could take advantage of, with the unfortunate instance, that disclosure of safeguarding and child protection is made.

Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mrs Toyin Oke- Osanyintolu, said that many school children were vulnerable to abuses, hence, they required protection.

Oke-Osanyintolu, who was represented by the Director, Social Welfare, of the ministry, Mrs Toyin Jaiyeola said that there was the need to review existing policies and fashion out new strategies to help protect children of school age, among others.

Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA), Mrs Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, stated that ensuring implementation of the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy in schools should be a joint effort, of different ministries and agencies.

According to her, the “truth of the matter is children are dying, the truth of the matter is children are not safe.”


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