Governor Babatunde Fashola
Lagos State Government has lamented the growing rate of death casualties among pupils and students in the state private primary and secondary schools, which it said, often results from the compromise of safety measures.
Director-General of the State Safety Commission, Mrs. Dominga Odebunmi, raised the concern at a news briefing recently, which was organised to mark the first private schools’ safety conference in Magodo, Lagos.
She warned proprietors and proprietresses of Private Schools to either contravene the state safety measures or face stiff sanction.
Speaking at the briefing, Odebunmi cited the unfortunate incidents of a two-year-old Uchechukwu Nwazuo, seven-year-old Favour Eze, and how Philip Ademusayo, not leaving out little Jonathan of Cornerstone Bright School, were all killed in a road accident on their way to school in May 2001.
She also recalled the untimely death of Sunday Alimi, a teacher of Reco School, Egan who “drowned at the Atlantic Ocean during an excursion in 2010. Not forgetting Lawal Buhari, Simisola Akinhanmi and many more others.”
The director-general explained that the incidents were attributed “to the nonchalant attitude of treating safety rules and measures with levity, the result of which has left us with tales of woes,” noting that the incidentwas no longer acceptable.
She therefore explained why it became imperative for the state government “to take the bull by the horn, as a result expediting action towards zero tolerance on mediocrity to safety standards in the schools’ management system,” a reason the state government decided to organise safety conference for private schools.
Odebunmi said private school that compromise safety measures would face stiff sanctions, which said, ranges from a fine of N100,000 to N250,000, though said a special offence court could determine a higher sanction depending on the extent to which the erring private schools compromised the state safety rules.
The director-general added that the conference tagged Ensuring Safety Culture and Compliance “is a deliberate attempt geared towards further sensitising the stakeholders in the education sector, with a bias for private schools on the need to inculcate safety rules and make safety a lifestyle for pupils and students”.
According to her, the programme would take place at three different venues, that is, University of Lagos Multipurpose Hall in Lagos East Senatorial District, Lagos City Hall in Lagos Central Senatorial District and Grailland Iju Hills at Lagos West Senatorial District between November 27 and 29.