Don’t use insecurity to treat schoolchildren like animals — commissioner

Ebonyi education commissioner Onyebuchi Chima has expressed his reservations about building perimeter fences in schools to improve security.

Following attacks on schools across the country in recent times, some stakeholders have advocated the building of fences around schools.

States like Osun have also expressed readiness to build perimeter fences around public schools.

However, speaking in an interview with NAN on Sunday, Chima said such measures were extreme and similar to treating pupils and students like “animals”.

While assuring parents and guardians of the safety of their children/wards as primary and secondary schools resume for third term on Monday, he said stakeholders should focus on instilling values in children rather than fencing schools.

“Let me make it clear that Ebonyi state remains a safe place for school children, even as we open schools tomorrow, Monday, May 24,” he said..

“We have not had any record of kidnapping in our schools and we will not have it in Jesus’ name.

“On building of perimeter fences across schools in the state, I have made it clear that even in the developed world, they don’t put children in fences in order to secure them, because they are not animals.

“You don’t need to put them in fences in order to provide security for them. The society is responsible for providing security for the children by instilling values in them and this is exactly what we are doing in Ebonyi state.

Onyebuchi Chima.

“Training of children is a valuable exercise and we are committed to giving all our children care and protection.

“The best way of providing security for our children is by giving them good orientation, especially when they are young. Let them be of good behaviour and be more aware and conscious of security.

“The society should always help by giving out useful information about insecurity; that is, when we see or hear, tell and support the fight against criminality. I believe the ‘see and inform’ mechanism will help more.”

The commissioner, however, urged the youths involved in causing trouble to steer clear of any activity that will endanger the lives of schoolchildren.

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