From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The Taraba Ministry of Education in collaboration with UNESCO and Society for Family Health (SFH) has stepped down the national School Rules and Regulations document to be implemented in primary and secondary schools across the state.
Speaking at the dissemination meeting in Jalingo on Monday, the Programme Manager of the Society for Family Health, Mrs Aisha Dadi explained that Nigeria, its states, and schools have a strong reason for introducing and implementing the harmonised school rules and regulations.
“Educated youth is considered a significant resource for the country. The country believes that the values, behaviour, and attitudes built within the school community are significant in shaping the future of its young people”.
Aisha who also represented UNESCO at the event, observed that the country sought to ensure that the environment in the schools are safe and supportive for pupils, learners, teachers, and staff.
She said that the school Rules and Regulations are therefore designed to ensure that all children and young people have access to safe, inclusive, health-promoting learning environments.
“There is a need to step up efforts to eliminate school-related violence and bullying, including gender-based violence, to prevent discrimination, and to support schools to promote healthy lifestyles”, she said.
Speaking earlier, the state commissioner of education Mr Johannes Jigem, explained that the School Rules and Regulations for Primary and Secondary Schools was a comprehensive document that provides an all-inclusive and uniform guideline for primary and secondary schools (private and public schools) in Taraba State
“In 2019, UNESCO Abuja within the framework of its adolescents and young people’s education for health and wellbeing Programme: Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future (O3) Programme engaged the Society for Family Health, who, in collaboration with the Federal and State Ministries of Education conducted an assessment of school rules and regulations.
“It was aimed to determine the level of inclusion of school-related gender-based violence concerns, including bullying, physical and verbal (or psychological) violence, corporal punishment, sexual violence and child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and intimate partner violence (adolescent dating violence)”.
The commissioner who was represented by the Secretary of the ministry Mr. Bala Namiji,
said the assessment revealed that while some of these issues were included in some school rules and regulations, many had gaps.
“A major problem is the lack of uniformity and standardisation of school rules and regulations.
“An example includes the perception of corporal punishment, which seems to vary across schools.
“While some schools abhor corporal punishment, others recommend it as an effective punitive measure.
Jegem therefore said it became necessary to develop a prototype rules and regulations inclusive of all issues of gender-based violence, which would also ensure uniformity and standardisation of the rules and regulations for primary and secondary schools across the state.
He said it was based on the foregoing that the Taraba Ministry of Education came up with a committee comprising members drawn from stakeholders within the sector to review and recommend a befitting document of school Rules and Regulations for the state.
He thanked UNESCO, the Federal Ministry of Education and Society for Family Health (SFH) for their commitment to the production and domestication of the document for all primary and secondary schools in the state.