The Lagos State Government under the aegis of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency and the Office of Education Quality Assurance has commenced implementation of the State’s Safeguarding and Child Protection Programme.
The one-day sensitization program, which was held on the 28th of February, 2022 at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa was aimed at educating principals, heads of schools and school administrators on the safeguarding and child protection policy of the Lagos state government.
The program was facilitated by erudite child protection experts which include the Director-General , Office of Education Quality Assurance, Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, Mr.Taiwo Akinlami and Mrs. Modupeola Saheed Adebmabo.
In her welcome address, the Executive Secretary of DSVA, Mrs. Titilola Vivour Adeniyi underscored the fact that whilst most child abuse occur within families and communities, children also experience abuse and exploitation in organisations that provide them with support and services.
According to her, research has shown that physical, emotional abuse and neglect in child focused organisations and institutions are less systematic and usually unplanned, as it stems from poor conditions, bad work practices and negligent management.
She therefore noted that it is mandatory for all child centred institutions to adopt and ensure full implementation of a Safeguarding and Child Protection policy.
The Director-General Mrs. Abiola Seriki- Ayeni, delivering the first paper, highlighted the need for schools to recognize the role they play in ensuring the wellbeing and safety of children, especially as children spend a significant time of their day in school.
The Director-General urged participants to take advantage of the free online course “Introduction of Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy” which over 10 000 educators have successfully completed, encouraging those who haven’t taken the course to do so.
Also, at the sensitization programme, Mrs. Adebambo provided an overview of the Executive Order on Safeguarding and Child Protection programme, whilst emphasizing critical measures schools should take in ensuring the safety of their students, some of which include; safer recruitment procedures, adopting a safeguarding policy, having a designated safeguarding officer and establishing reporting, recording and feedback mechanisms.
Mr. Taiwo Akinlami on his part, gave an insight into what child’s rights entail, societal and cultural perceptions of children as well as norms and beliefs that encourage child abuse.
The issue of corporal punishment was also discussed, even as participants were reminded of the State Government’s No-Caning policy.
A total of 400 primary and secondary schools, drawn from both public and private schools in Education District 6 were in attendance as participants were given the relevant tools required in ensuring they are able to effectively establish and implement Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy in their institutions.
The program is to be implemented in all education districts, thereby reiterating Mr. Governor Sanwo-Olu’s Administration’s commitment in ensuring the safety and protection of all children in Lagos State.