School owners, parents and educators have been urged to place premium on the safety of children and protect them from negative influences that may make them victims of sexual molestation and substance abuse.
This charge was given last weekend at a seminar organised by Lagooz Schools to sensitise pupils and parents on sexual exploitation, drug abuse, gender identity and others.
The seminar took place in the school in Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos.
Nollywood actress Sola Kosoko-Abina, who was the guest speaker, urged parents, educators and school owners to ensure that children are trained and protected from negative influences that would make them become victims of sexual molestation and drug abuse.
“The major responsibility first lies in the hands of parents in ensuring a safe and healthy environment to raise their children and also give them adequate training and guidance regarding sex education and drug abuse. Educators and school owners must also ensure the safety of children in their care,” she said.
Proprietor of Lagooz Schools and National President of National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Yomi Otubela, quoting UNICEF, explained that six out of 10 children in Nigeria, experience emotional, physical or sexual abuse before age 18, hence it was imperative to take such issues seriously.
Discussants at the seminar, which had as theme: “Sexual exploitation and substance abuse among learners: prevention, control and management strategy”, included, Founder of Brainy Educate, Eniola Shakirah Olajobi, an educational psychologist; Unuane Isaac, Assistant Commander of Narcotics and Area Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Tunde Adunola, Chief Executive Officer of Firmstep Educational Support Services.
Olajobi, who spoke on “Human development, puberty, sexual orientation and gender identity”, called for proper training of children from infancy, stressing that it is the most important stage of human development.
She, however, urged parents to be available to take care of their children and seek professional advice to create a safer and saner world for them.
On his part, Isaac advised pupils to avoid abuse and misuse of drugs. The NDLEA Assistant Commander, who said drug abuse had grave consequences on health, called on all stakeholders to collaborate in tackling it.