IGP Egbetokun’s Schools Protection Squad Timely

By Adewole Kehinde

The news of the School Protection Squad was all over the media on Monday, as the Force PRO announced that the IGP is establishing the Schools Protection Squad (SPS), a proactive initiative aimed at enhancing security and safety in educational institutions across Nigeria.

It is most gratifying to state that the IGP is well known for his passion for the pursuit of academic excellence owing to the totality of his academic accomplishments since his days as an undergraduate from the prestigious University of Lagos where he obtained the following degrees B.Sc. Mathematics, Post-graduate Diploma in Computer Science, Master of Science Degree in Engineering Analysis, PGD Petroleum Economics from Delta State University, Abraka, and MBA from Lagos State University, Ojo Lagos, a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from the Center for Peace and Security Studies, Al-hikmah University, Ilorin and thereby making history as the first Ph.D. candidate to graduate from the Center.

So, I was not surprised that, as part of his policy geared towards the security of lives and property, most especially the safety of schools and students, the Acting Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, announced the establishment of the Schools Protection Squad (SPS).

In furtherance of the safety drives, the IGP has also concluded plans to launch a comprehensive Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) handbook for the Safe Schools Programme.

Recall that the Federal Government expressed total commitment towards the success of its safe school initiative, insisting that since education remains perhaps the most important factor in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, Nigeria must ensure that schools are made safe for learning.

I remembered that on June 8, 2023, the IGP was the arrowhead of the unveiling of the Nigeria Police Force Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Handling Cases Involving Children in Conflict with the Law.

The creation of these SOPs demonstrates the Nigeria Police Force’s dedication to ensuring child-friendly policing throughout the Federation. The processes adhere to regional norms, best practices, and international legal frameworks, including but not limited to guidelines for the protection of minors who have been deprived of their liberty and the minimum standards for the administration of juvenile justice.

This time around, the official launch and training event is scheduled to take place on the 9th of August 2023, with the participation of 250 individuals drawn from various sectors, including the presidency, executive, judiciary, legislature, security agencies, civil society organizations, media, school administrators, unions, and other stakeholders.

The Schools Protection Squad (SPS) is a specialized unit within the Nigeria Police Force tasked with drawing up policies and engaging relevant stakeholders to ensure the safety and protection of students, teachers, and school infrastructure. The squad will be equipped with relevant assets and advanced training to effectively respond to the security challenges facing educational institutions.

The launch of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) handbook for the Safe Schools Programme is an integral part of the initiative. This comprehensive handbook outlines the best practices and guidelines for securing schools, risk assessment, emergency response protocols, and collaboration between various stakeholders.

The SOP will serve as a crucial reference for educational authorities, security agencies, and other participants involved in the Safe Schools Programme, empowering them to take coordinated and effective measures to ensure the safety and protection of schools.

In recent times, security has become a major concern for the average man or woman on the street simply because of the high rate of crime in various parts of the world. We must therefore support every effort geared towards making our schools safe. This initiative is one such effort.

We must therefore ensure that every child is able to learn in a safe environment where they can get the quality education they need to unlock their full potential and contribute to building a better Nigeria.

I believe proactive strategies are the keys to safe schools by focusing on a balanced approach to prevention, intervention, security, and emergency preparedness, combined with improving school safety communications, school climate, psychological support services, and meaningful relationships with public organizations with an interest in safety.

It is high time relevant stakeholders supported the Inspector-General of Police to actively participate and support the initiative for the safety and general well-being of our educational assets in Nigeria.

I agree with IGP that Nigeria can build a robust education system that guarantees a secure and conducive learning environment for every child.


Adewole Kehinde is the publisher of Swift Reporters and can be reached at 08166240846. kennyadewole@gmail.com