Schools, churches tighten security in the wake of kidnappings

Ivory coast securityA number of schools and churches in the Accra metropolis have beefed up security to protect children on their premises against intruders.

This has become necessary in view of recent incidents of abduction in the Accra metropolis.

While schools are educating their pupils and students on security measures to ensure that they go to school and return home safely, some churches are also insisting that parents who bring their children for Sunday School service pick them up themselves.

These came to light when the Junior Graphic went round some schools and churches  to assess the security situation there in the wake of the recent reported kidnappings.

Schools

In an interview with the Director of the Faith Montessori School, Gbawe, Mrs Emma Amoo-Gottfried said the school had a CCTV which monitored  the area to ensure that no intruders entered the compound.

Mrs Amoo-Gottfried said they also recorded  the number of children who reported to school on a daily basis and  those who went home with the bus as well as  those who were picked up by drivers or their parents.

“We have a huge responsibility to ensure that the  kids entrusted in our care are taken good care of”, she added.

On her part, the Headmistress of Mantse Tackie 3 Primary, Ms Hannah Ofosuah, said as part of measures  to ensure that the children especially the younger ones were safe,  two assistants   stayed on  after school till 3:30p.m. to see to it that every child had left the school safely.

She, however, said after 3:30p.m., those children who were not  picked up by their parents were taken home by their teachers  and brought to school the next day.

Ms Ofosuah said during worship on Wednesdays,  the pupils/students were educated on issues in the media, especially those related to children.

She, therefore, said they had been briefed on the kidnapping incident and  educated on how to avoid  such situations.

Churches

At  the Makers House International Church at Kwabenya, parents who brought their kids for Sunday School were made to register them and  were issued with cards.

According to Mrs Kafui Feli, the head of the children’s department, the parents were expected to present the card  before they could pick their children up after the church service.

On his part, the Circuit Supervisor of the Abeka Methodist Church, Evangelist Nathaniel Okang, said  both children and parents had been educated on how  to protect themselves by security personnel who  worshipped at the church.

He said  a security man was  always at the entrance to look out for strangers and  added that children who came to church  on their own were also advised against talking to strangers on their way home.

Police

The Greater Accra Regional Commander, DCOP Christian Yohunu, in an interview advised parents to educate their children about the dangers of  accepting gifts from strangers.

He also urged parents not to leave their children  in the care of taxi drivers but to accompany them to school or pick them up from school themselves.

DCOP Yohunu  asked churches and mosques to provide adequate security not for the younger children alone but  those between the ages of seven to 11 years because they were targets of kidnappers as well.

He gave the assurance  that  the Police would continue  to create awareness of the growing menace so everyone would be security conscious.

 

Source: Junior Graphic

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