Education and Technology as a major Pillar of Development (POD) articulated by H.E. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in his administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda is a clear commitment to the future of our children and their wellbeing. Nevertheless, recent safety concerns in almost all facets of our economy call for a careful plan to promote the culture of safety in our educational establishments so that stakeholders can conduct the business of education safely; and more importantly, pupils can learn under a safe environment.
To the end, the Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSC) in collaboration with five other MDAs (i.e., Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (Lagos SUBEB); the Ministry of Special Duties; Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA); the Ministry of Science and Technology; and the Ministry of Education) has inaugurated the SSLAG (Safe Schools Lagos) project.
The SSLAG project was launched on April 11, 2022 with key dignitaries in attendance and the Lead Consultant for the project is Schoolrun Academy Ventures who has developed the content while the Technology Partners are Telnet Nigeria Ltd. This was closely followed by the knowledge transfer training event at the Lagoon School, Lekki on the April 23, 2022.
SSLAG is the conceptual framework for safety in Lagos schools. It is a novel concept through which the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSC) aims to implement a proactive safety and security framework for schools and allied establishments in Lagos State. It covers facility access control, school transport management, staff background checks, Knowledge Transfer to staff and education stakeholders amongst others. All these activities are coordinated through the SSLAG digital platform ( developed by Telnet, the technology partner).
Lagoon school Lekki, Lagos has been named the first school to commence the compliance journey and may well be poised to attain the Beacon of Safety Status in Lagos State.
The Beacon of safety status is the benchmarking strategy stipulated by SSLAG framework as the ‘GOLD’ standard by which all other schools are measured. Schools conferred with this status must demonstrate a high standard of safety and safeguarding, putting the child at the centre of all they do.
Speaking during the SSLAG training programme in Lagoon School, the CEO oF SchoolRun Academy, the Project Lead Dr Bisi Esuruoso revealed the key performance indicators for attaining a satisfactory, good or excellent rating for schools under the SSLAG Compliance drive. A Beacon of Safety is only confer on a school if such a school has maintained excellent ratings in two (2) consecutive audit exercises.
The KPIs include schools being free from pests and no broken louvers, with safe recruitment checks conducted on all teachers and members of staff and so on.
She disclosed that Beacon means to shine in the darkness. So Schools with such status are expected to stand tall amongst the rest.
She also reminded delegates on outdoor activities and trips. As there are specific protocols that must be followed by all schools for trips and outdoor activities.
“SSLAG is calling for “ All of us to make sure that our children are safe. The 12 minimum standards must be met by all day schools and an additional 8 standards met by schools with boarding facilities.”
She added that schools must be made to understand safeguarding issues “When children are displaying certain behaviour, professional educators are supposed to be able to discern the signs and seek for further help from other professionals as appropriate.
Teachers are reminded that “ they must not bully Children that are placed under your care. Instead teachers should understand how to boost the children’s confidence. “