School system essential in protecting children from abuse, Lagos government, UNFPA insist
Lagos State government and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have said that the school system plays an essential role in protecting children from abuse.
They stated this at a capacity-building workshop for key stakeholders in school management organised by the state government in conjunction with UNFPA.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Dr. Olugbemiga Aina, while addressing participants at the workshop drawn from schools in the state, noted that the basis for the organisation of the capacity building was to share knowledge and give stakeholders the opportunity to interact with government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) directly involved in providing intervention on sexual/domestic abuse of young people.
Aina, represented by a director in the ministry, Mr. Saka Abdulateef, stated that the school system plays an essential role in protecting children from abuse because they have regular contact with children.
The permanent secretary said the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had been at the forefront of tackling Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and prevention of child domestic/sexual abuse with the recent signing of the legislation transforming the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) into a full-blown agency.
The DSVRT legislation, according to him, provides for the establishment of sexual offenders’ registers to efficiently tackle violations in the communities, thereby nipping child domestic/sexual abuse in the bud.
Aina also stated that the ministry, in collaboration with UNFPA, had designed Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) into the curriculum of non-formal vocations and technical centres in the state, thereby providing a framework for the acquisition of knowledge of self and family living.
The Co-ordinator of UNFPA South-West Zone, Dr. Esther Somefun, said that the organisation had zero tolerance for all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse, hence the collaboration with the ministry to organise capacity-building for stakeholders in school management.
On his part, Chairman, Parent-Teacher Association, Agidingbi Senior Secondary School, Mr. Rabiu Ahmed, appreciated the strategic collaboration between the ministry and UNFPA to tackle the menace, while Co-ordinator, Sexual/Gender-Based, Ministry of Health, Dr. Victoria Omoera, said that the prevalence of sexual/child abuse had become too prevalent to be ignored.