CSO Tasks Bauchi Community Leaders on Safe Schools Initiative

Following the recent attacks on schools in northern parts of Nigeria, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC), a civil society organisation, has demanded proactive engagement and involvement of community leaders in the implementation of the Safe Schools Declaration (SSD).

Since 2014 when terrorists abducted Chibok school girls, several schools in the northeast and northwest have come under siege. Some schools were burnt, others destroyed and pupils, students and teachers were killed and abducted thereby posing a threat to the government’s effort to provide quality education to its citizens.

The Senior Program Officer of WARDC, Jennifer Nwokedike said this in Bauchi during a capacity-building workshop on legislative advocacy on Safe Schools Declaration for community leaders, CSOs and school administrators with funding from the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF).

She explained that the advocacy training aimed at engaging relevant policymakers to ensure that there is a legal framework for the implementation of the SSD in the state.

“The participants were trained to make the public aware of the existence of the SSD and National policy so the public can also get involved in driving the demand for accountability to ensure that at Bauchi we established a costed action plan to help implementation considering the fact there was already earmarked fund at the national level,” Nwokedike said.

She said the Bauchi State Government had already earmarked specific funds for the implementation of the SSD, “the major reason why we are in Bauchi is to educate them and bring stakeholders together, deepen their knowledge on how to be able to lead legislative advocacy to policymakers to develop strategies to meet with them.”

WikkiTimes reports that the Federal Government of Nigeria has earmarked N144.8 billion as a financial commitment for the implementation of the National Plan on Financing SSD between 2023 to 2026.

Nigeria has signed and adopted the Safe Schools Declaration (SSD) in 2018, An inter-governmental political commitment to protect students, teachers, schools, and universities from the worst effects of armed conflict.

Similarly, the  National Plan was launched in December 2022 towards the implementation of the SSD. The initiative would be funded through annual budgetary provisions from federal, state and local government interventionist agencies, foreign governments, philanthropists and donor partners. 

Speaking, one of the participants who is also the Proprietress of Blue Bird Elementary School, Fatimah Binta said the workshop further raised awareness of the need to do more to provide maximum security for hitch-free teaching and learning.

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