‘How to achieve peace in schools’
Former Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Magodo, Lagos, Okon Effiong, has urged pupils to embrace peace and avoid settling scores among themselves.
He gave the advice at the seminar on Peace and conflict resolution/prevention organised by the Rotary clubs of Gbagada South and Lagos Mainland in collaboration with their Rotaract clubs for secondary schools in Somolu Local Government Area at Eva Adelaja Girls High School, Bariga, Lagos.
No fewer than 50 pupils and some teachers from over six schools attended the seminar. They included: Gbagada Comprehensive School, Oduduwa Senior High School, Gbagada Girls Senior High School, Bariga Junior High School and the host school.
Effiong, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), who was a guest speaker, said fighting leads to destruction of lives and properties, some of which are irreplaceable.
He noted that peace is not the absence of conflicts, but rather the ability to handle conflicts through peaceful means. He listed the causes of conflicts as alcohol, lack of counseling, cultism and personality problems, among others.
To manage their conflicts, the former senior police officer gave the pupils the following tips: reporting crimes to the police, telling parents, teachers and close friends about it, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and lonely roads. He also asked them to avoid cultism.
Another guest speaker and Counsellor with Bariga Junior Comprehensive School, Mrs Ugo Olugu Agbai listed tribe, religion, communication, socio-economic, alcoholism, temperament as factors affecting peace among pupils.
She said principals have a lot to do in resolving conflicts in their schools. She urged them to meet regularly to fashion out ways to tackle the problem. She said pupils should be counselled on the ills of conflicts and merits of peaceful existence. She advised parents to live up to their responsibilities to their wards.
To promote peace, Mrs Olugu urged the pupils to form peace clubs in their schools, a call they pledged to implement.
Earlier, a representative of the District Governor Alhaji Lanre Kazeem, an Assistant Governor, called for peaceful co-existence among Nigerians, especially pupils. He said where conflicts arose, there was the need to settle them amicably. This is the way to progress, he added.
Rotary Club Gbagada South President, Bilamin Sanni urged the pupils to practise what they had learnt at the event. Only then could they justify the resources spent in holding the seminar, he added. He later presented certificates of perticipation to each pupil and their teachers.