15 Facts to Consider Before You Register Your Child in a School (8)

I am far away in Delta State where I shall be sharing among others, The TeacherFIRE™ Revolution philosophy with teachers from Edo and Delta State. I am excited because, the fire of the philosophy is spreading like a stubborn harmattan fire.  We look forward to being in your state soon. If you want to accelerate our visit to your state, you may want to take it upon your good self to invite and host us.

Permit me to share with you today the 5th fact you must consider before you register your child in a school: Does the school have a Child Protection Policy. Child protection is a huge issue every place children gather and it must not be left to chance and hope. There must be a deliberate effort on the part of the leadership of an institution of learning to codify the issue of protection of children. In discussing child protection today as the 5th fact to consider before you register your child in a school, I will like to rely strongly on the provisions of the UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD (CRC), 1989 and CHILD’S RIGHTS ACT (CRA) enacted by the National Assembly of the Federal Republic on Nigeria 31st July, 2003. Article 3(1) of the CRC  and Section 1 of the CRA jointly provide, ‘in every action concerning a child, whether undertaken by an individual, public or private body, institutions or service, court of law, or administrative or legislative authority, THE BEST-INTEREST-OF-THE-CHILD shall be the PRIMARY CONSIDERATION.As a Child’s Protection Practitioner of over 15 years, I have come to the conclusion that you have not done anything in the best interest of the child until you put in place a formidable structure to protect the child. Protection is superior to addressing child abuse. As I always say, enlightenment is superior to enforcement as prevention is always better than cure. The truth is that once a child is abused, the impact is eternal except there is divine intervention.

In this age and time when abuse of children seems to have become the order of the day, it will amount to nothing but putting our children forward as pearls before swine if we are not sure that they are serious about child protection. There are four major types of abuses children must be protected from. They are physical abuse, emotional, abuse, sexual abuse and abuse by neglect. I know what it means to suffer abuse in all these four areas because my childhood was characterised by them.

The standard Child Protection Policy of a school is made up of two components: the first are the fundamental and foundational provisions while the second are peculiar provisions. The fundamental and foundational provisions focus on the four baskets of rights of the child as enshrined in the Child’s Rights Act, 2003. These provisions also cover the responsibilities of the child as stated in Sections 19 and 20 of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003. The peculiar provisions are products of in-house investigations, which an expert must carry out with the full cooperation of the institution of learning with an active participation of all stakeholders in the life of the child, including children. There are 16 steps we have identified that must be observed before an institution of learning finally arrives at a standard Child Protection Policy. The Child Protection Policy is so critical that every other policy in the school system must derive its legitimacy from it. It therefore means that any policy, which does not agree with the provision of the Child Protection Policy will be null and void.

I beseech you today to take the destiny of your children serious and ask this critical question before your register your child in a school.  Do have an INSPIRED day

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15 Facts to Consider Before You Register Your Child in a School (7)

Hello friends. It is my pleasure to be with you here today, breathing the air of fulfilment in the noble cause, God prepared me for before the foundation of the world. I believe that if  I am fulfilled by this cause, there is every possibility that the ones I am sent to are not only relieved but refreshed.

This day, I continue my journey of the 15 Facts to Consider Before You Register Your Child in a School. Permit we to share with you the 4th fact: Who runs the school, a person or a board? A board is the mind of a company or organisation. The peace of a company or organisation is dependent on the soundness of its board, both in terms of integrity, intelligence, skill and experience. Therefore the area of core business of a company should determine the membership of the board. It is a non-negotiable requirement of the Corporate Affairs Commission that for you to register an organisation either as company or social work, you must have an expert in the area of your endeavour on your board of directors or board of trustees. It has been found that beyond meeting the requirement of the Corporate Affairs Commission, many schools do not take time to select the board members of their schools according to the needs of the child for excellent, enduring education and the best interest of the child.

It is common practice today for schools to be run by one-man board or in some cases by a board of two. Many are schools that are run by a passive board.

Many schools, who make this mistake do not understand that the dividends of a school system are the lives changed and must give to the society finished products and not factory rejects. Since the board represents the mind of the school, a school without a properly constituted and active board cannot boast of proper policies, which protect the interests of all and every area of the life of the child. I make bold to submit that a school without a board is limited in uncountable ways. It also does not have a future. The truth is that an entity which does not have a future must be expected to give our children same. Such institution will give our children something but definitely not a future.

I must quickly add, before I leave this point that it is the responsibility of parents to find out what and how a school is being run before registering their children there. I have visited the websites of many schools, who are very silent about the profile of those who run the schools. In cases where they clearly stated, we must be interested in whether the board functions or not or it is just mere decoration. Please note that as a parents, intending to register your child in a school, you are a client and therefore, you must be bold to ask all the relevant questions. There will be no question too big to ask. Any school, which is too big to answer your question is too big to accommodate and give a future and a hope to your child.

I beg to rest my case here today. Do have an INSPIRED day.

15 Facts to Consider Before You Register Your Child in a School (6)

Dear friends, sure you are doing well this beautiful day, which the Lord made by Himself. It is painful that I had to excuse myself from this page without notice. Sometimes, life and its vicissitudes can be so overwhelming but for the mercies of God. I am glad I am here today against all odds to do this advocacy, which is very dear to the depth of my heart. It is my irresistible conclusion that irrespective of the enormity of the challenge I face in the process of disseminating this message, I owe my conscience a duty to show up to do so.

Today, I will share with you the 3rd fact you must consider before you register your child in a school.  Here is the 3rd fact: Consider what you stand for: we rise and fall by our values, even when we have not taken time to define them. The truth is there is no other way to live productively except by values, which are predicated upon universal principles. What are universal principles? Yes, these are principles, which are universal in nature. They govern the entire universe. They are created by God to sustain the affairs of this world. The more we are aware of their existence and learn how to effectively operate them, the more we are in charge of the affairs of this world. When life slips out of our hands, it is because we have not paid adequate attention to mastering universal principles, which God Himself put in place to govern this world. For example, growth, sowing and reaping, attitude, change, choices etc. are governed by universal principles.

There is no other way to train our children except by inculcating in them values, which we must model.  As we seek to register our children in a school, our benchmark must the values we sustain in our homes. Since the school’s role in the development of our children is complimentary, we must be committed to choosing a school, which will complement our family values. And the schools which can inculcate our family values in our children are the schools, which share same. No person and organisation can give what they do not have.

It means, according to our values, we have determined the kind of education we want to expose our children to and we have begun the charity from home. We are therefore looking for a school, which will help complement what is already being done at home. When We take our children to schools, which do not speak our language in terms of values; we are going to create confusion for our children as to what values to sustain in life. When confusion sets in, they become double-minded and once they become double-minded, they become unstable in all their ways. I am sure you do not want to invest so much into the confusion of your children in the name of paying school fees for your children to be taught, what you do not believe.

It therefore means, we don’t find such school in our immediate area, we will keep scouting and if do not ever find the school within a reasonable distance; we may decide to train our children and resort to home schooling. Before you think, home schooling is too tasking, let me quickly submit that the destiny and the future of our dear children is worth all the caution, care and sacrifices. I can say to you as someone, who suffered enormous childhood abuse that the impact of wrong upbringing is eternal except there is divine intervention.

Please note that education is not only about equipping the head of the child. Education must combine equipping the head with knowledge and injecting into the heart character and virtues. Brilliance without integrity will give birth to an intelligent devil. A school of thought, which I verily agree with submits that EDUCATION derives from the verb EDUCE, which means ‘TO DRAW FORTH FROM WITHIN’ Muriel Spark submits, ‘to me education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil’s soul.’ The child carries inside of him/her the seed of human ingenuity, which means he/she is limitless in his/her capacity to create and he/she is limitless in his/her options in life.

In closing, let me share a story with you. James Dobson, a renowned American Christian psychologist discovered that many schools in America were in the name of teaching sex education, exposing children to pornography and teaching them about sexual orientations beyond male and female. He also found that many Christian parents have registered their children in such schools. Dobson began a campaign to alert parents about the perversion of their children’s value system in the name of sex education.

The problem I have found is that many parents do not live by defined values. If they live by any it is by default. The result of the foregoing is that they lack a clear value-based benchmark on what school to register their children. Another problem is that those who claim to live by defined values do not do enough to protect same, particularly with their children. They also underrate the power of contamination and double vision. The conclusion is that though many of us claim to live by principles, we do not. If we really do, we will defend our values stoutly. I think I should round up here and allow you to think about our discussion today. Join me on Monday as I discuss the 4th fact to consider. Have an INSPIRED week.