So, You Want to Send Your Child to a Boarding School? Ask these Child Protection-focused Questions(5)

Question 7: What are the policies in place to prevent Child-to-Child abuses? Child-to-child protection is a major issue within the school system, particularly boarding schools. I have dealt bullying few sessions away. It is one of the major issues in child-to-child abuse globally today. I appeal to you to please flip back to the chapter and avail yourself of the information therein. One area I think you should be interested in as you investigate the boarding school to register your child is child-to-child sexual abuse. It is today very rampant in mixed, boys-only and girls-only boarding school. Same sex sexual abuse is very rampant in boys-only boarding schools, so it is in girls-only boarding schools. To the best of my knowledge, the efforts of most boarding school authorities in matters of same sex sexual abuse are more curative than preventive. A boy was recently brought to me by the parents, when he insisted he did not want to return to the boarding school after his long vacation and would not tell the parents why. After spending some time interviewing him, he revealed to me that the only reason why he did not want to go back to the boarding school was because his seniors in school were forcefully having anal sex with him. The school did not find out. The parents also did not find out.  If the child had not opted out of going to the school, the menace could have continued. At the end of his stay in the school, he could have been convinced that he has a different sexual orientation. As it is with boys to boys so it is with girls to girls.

Apart from forceful sexual relationship between students, there is also a high possibility of children engaging in ‘consensual sexual activity’ within the school premises, particularly within the boarding schools. Now, ‘consensual sexual activity’ between children still constitutes an abuse. By the law, anyone below the age of eighteen years does not have the capacity to give consent to sexual relationship either for sexual intercourse or any other form of sexual activities, including oral sex. When two teenagers engage in what they call ‘consensual sexual activity’ it is still an abuse of each other’s bodies and it is contrary to the provisions of the law. Beyond the provisions of the law, sexual relationship among children is a major distraction to their academic pursuit. The negative consequences are also enormous psychologically and physiologically. It is important to be sure that the boarding school in which you want to register your child has not only put in place policies, which prevent child-to-child abuses of all shades and forms, but also have in place structures and human resources to give effective expression to the spirits and letters of the policies.   

Question 8: Is the boarding facility approved with the appropriate regulatory bodies? Before a facility is used for boarding school, it must be inspected, certified and approved by the appropriate regulatory authority. It is the responsibility of the ministry of education of the state in which the boarding facility is to be situated to inspect the facility and approve after the promoters of the boarding school have applied. It was alleged by the parents of a child, who died in a leading boarding school recently that the boarding facility was not registered with the ministry of education of the state in which the boarding school is situated. This was a fact the parents could have found out before they registered their child in the boarding school. If they had, they could have ascertained if the school met the minimum standard for approval. The foregoing could have aided their decision thereafter.

It must be the commitment of the parents/guardians to ask all these questions and more. The questions here are not exhaustive but just a guide to spur the thoughts of the primary custodians of the child in taking the decision to keep their children in a boarding school.

The truth is that if the custodians cannot vouch for the boarding school that it will give their children the best of care, which promotes nothing but the best interest of the child, it may be suicidal to register their child there. One way to be sure is to ask for policies, which have been put in place to cover all the areas highlighted and more, the distinctive machineries in place in terms of structures and trained personnel to give breath of effective enforcement to the outlined policies.

I think I should sign out here. Thank you for visiting today. Sure you learnt one or two things on how to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY and Think the FUTURE.

IMPORTANT NOTICE:  Enroll for The ChildProtectionCREED™ Mobile Academy ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,’ Fredrick Douglass Deliverables:ChildProtectionCREED™ Cds; Compelling and instructive E-Books(Minimum of 3); Written Social Empowerment Nuggets(Every other day); Weekly  SMS, Attendance of  the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminar for Couple; Opportunity to nominate others for the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminars; Hosting of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Rountable and lots more. Registration & Participation Fee: The lowest fee you have ever paid for a HIGH QUALITY, EXCEPTIONALLY IMPACTFUL and INVALUABLY REWARDING Empowerment program

Tested & Highly Recommended:  ‘I commend your presentation. It was backed up with so much passion. We all found it very inspiring and will definitely recommend you to others.’ Dr. (Mrs.) C.O. Ogunsanya, Managing Director, Oxbridge Tutorial College, G.R.A. Ikeja and Chairman, Association of Private Educators of Nigeria

Further Details: Contact Faculty Officer: T: 234-8186830275 E: fo@taiwoakinlami.com

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So, You Want to Send Your Child to a Boarding School? Ask these Child Protection-focused Questions(4)

6th Question: Still as part of Child Protection measures, what are the safety measures put in place by the school? Safety is a major issue within and outside the school system. What measures have the school put in place to ensure the safety of the children? An 11-year old student of leading school in Lagos State drowned on May 8, 2009 at the swimming pool of a hotel in Lagos in the course of a school-organised swimming class excursion. Facts gleaned from the reports of the Fact Finding Committee set up to investigate the incident reveals that Fifty two students took part in the swimming lesson; the Head Medical Unit and Housemaster stated that no list was sent to him for the students who were going on the outing that day, though that was usually the procedure, stating that he warned that ‘the weather was not too good for swimming because it was cloudy and generally cold’… he was however persuaded to allow the children to come out of the hostel and go for swimming and that ‘they will be taken good care of; the Head Medical Unit  stated that no list was sent to him for the students who were going on the outing that day, though that was usually the procedure, stating that he warned that ‘the weather was not too good for swimming because it was cloudy and generally cold’ and that he was however persuaded to allow the children to come out of the hostel and go for swimming and that ‘they will be taken good care of; the group of 52 students and one teacher was transported to the hotel in a 27 seater school bus. The school arrangement was for the bus to convey the student in two batches, but the teacher  and the boys interviewed confirmed that they have always gone in one batch; the name of the child was not found on the membership list of the Swimming Club under which umbrella the students went swimming as the school could not substantiate by producing the child’s membership form in which the consent of the parents was obtained;  fifty two students all swimming at no segmented order in one pool, with at least forty pupils swimming at the same time; the swimming instructor was not present on that day,  no safety experts, no first aid equipment, but the person known to as a life guard was present; the students’ activities while they played in the pool were allegedly supervised by two adults  and neither of them was appropriately wearing swimming trunks;  when the child was found under the water, the two adults, who were said to be supervising the pupils only responded at the second round of call for help by fellow pupils, meaning that the alleged supervisors were not close to the pool at the time of the ugly incident; above all, the consent of the parents was not sought before the children were taken out of the boarding house and the school for swimming.

The parents of the child alleges that the school is grossly negligent and have now set up a Foundation in memory of their son, to promote among other objectives, public awareness about the importance of child safety, the dangers of negligence and the need to make recreational facilities safe.

I have related this story and the facts revealed in the report of the Fact Finding Committee to help you know some of the questions and investigation you must do on safety matters within the boarding school system. The story, though covers one aspect of safety, could become a template for measuring the commitment of the boarding school authority to the safety of the pupils under their care.

The Daily Independent Newspaper of Monday, November 28, 2005 reported the pathetic story of ‘twenty-two pupils of All Saints International College, Kaduna, whose young lives were brutally terminated in a stampede occasioned by false fire alarm in their school.’ The report further revealed, ‘thick smoke produced by sawdust being burnt in a nearby carpenter’s workshop had created the panic, as the pupils thought their school building had caught fire. These twenty-two students had jumped to their deaths while trying to escape. Several others were badly injured.’

It is characteristic of us as African to conclude that this was an act of God. But sanity demands that we ask some questions, using this as a template for safety issues within the boarding school system: first, is there an internal Fire Drill Regulations. What is Fire Drill? According to Wikipedia, it is ‘a method of practicing the evacuation of a building for a fire or other emergency. Generally, the emergency system (usually the fire alarm/smoke detector) sounds and the building is evacuated as though a real fire had occurred. Usually, the time it takes to evacuate is measured to ensure that it occurs within a reasonable length of time, and problems with the emergency system or evacuation procedures are identified to be remedied.’ In developed climes, Fire Drills for schools must occur in certain regulated intervals and it is governed Fire Drill Regulations are set by government and must be followed to the letter by the schools.  Does the school have these regulations and related others in place. Second, is the school properly situated? Is it is right to situate as school close to a factory or an artisan workshop? Could there be environmental issues emanating from such localization? Besides the fact that the children panicked and jumped to their deaths, could the ‘thick smoke produced by sawdust being burnt in a nearby carpenter’s workshop’ constitute health hazard to the children? Third, curiously, where were the custodians of the pupils when this tragedy struck? The story did not tell us their whereabouts. Could they have been unavailable to control and bring order to the situation? Lastly, what preventive measures are put in place to prevent a reoccurrence of this kind of ugly incident in the near and far future? Does our tragedy take us beyond grief and regrets to learn the hard lessons and put the lessons learnt to use?

In countries like America with the rapidity of gun violence within the schools in the country, there lockdown drill, aimed at preparing the students and teachers on how to respond to gun violence within the school system. It may not be a bad idea for our schools to begin to think in this direction considering the recent and exacerbated Boko Haram attacks on boarding schools in the Northern parts of Nigeria.

I think I should sign out here. Thank you for visiting today. Sure you learnt one or two things on how to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY and Think the FUTURE.

IMPORTANT NOTICE:  Enroll for The ChildProtectionCREED™ Mobile Academy ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,’ Fredrick Douglass Deliverables:ChildProtectionCREED™ Cds; Compelling and instructive E-Books(Minimum of 3); Written Social Empowerment Nuggets(Every other day); Weekly  SMS, Attendance of  the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminar for Couple; Opportunity to nominate others for the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminars; Hosting of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Rountable and lots more. Registration & Participation Fee: The lowest fee you have ever paid for a HIGH QUALITY, EXCEPTIONALLY IMPACTFUL and INVALUABLY REWARDING Empowerment program

Tested & Highly Recommended:  ‘I commend your presentation. It was backed up with so much passion. We all found it very inspiring and will definitely recommend you to others.’ Dr. (Mrs.) C.O. Ogunsanya, Managing Director, Oxbridge Tutorial College, G.R.A. Ikeja and Chairman, Association of Private Educators of Nigeria

Further Details: Contact Faculty Officer: T: 234-8186830275 E: fo@taiwoakinlami.com

CROOKED CIVILIZATION: I TAKE A TRIP TO SAUDI ARABIA

The Tyranny of the men in the State of Nature,
Their misuse of power,
And lack of their understanding of their authority and roles as the head of their homes(to serve and lead order) created the ‘Vulnerable Group'(Women and Children),
An artificial and nebulous nomenclature of oppression,
Who made men judge or superior over women and children, apart from brute and blind force?
Who says a Saudi Arabian man can drive while the women can’t?!

The Tyranny of all even before the invention of the almighty and winner-takes-all Capitalism,
Our misuse of power,
And lack of understanding of our roles as trustees(to others) of our ‘possessions’ as private and public citizens created the ‘Underprivileged or Less Privileged Group,’
A decoy to cover the raging guilt of selfishness.

‘In the Beginning these things were not so…’ says my LORD.

Now that we claim to live in a ‘civilized world’ we have proudly granted in our psyche and register of human existence and social interactions, a permanent status to these depressing and shameful memorabilia of the Darkest Ages of human history !
Are we really CIVILIZED,
Celebrating ‘superiority’ by GENDER
And ‘Success’ by what we claim to ‘OWN’? Meditate and Have an INSPIRED week. Taiwo Akinlami Sober on his knees on the LORD’s Day.(www.taiwoakinlami.com)

Child’s Rights Education: The Foundation of Child Protection(3)

Issues to consider: Having established the global acceptability of Child Participation as a major and inevitable factor in the protection of the Children and their rights around the world, the next issues are:

Is the Child Participation and protection an issue in Nigeria? The Child participation is an issue in Nigeria today considering the social, economic and political state of the Nigerian child, which leaves a very spacious room for improvements.

If it is, what makes it an issue? To my mind, one major reason why the rights of the Nigerian child are trampled upon is lack of adequate awareness on the part of the child, parents and the society on the rights of the child as protected by the law. Prof. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti on this issue opined thus; “although they (youths) crave to be informed, nobody tells them anything; not even the government, the church or parents. It is painful that those (parents and society) who are saddled with the responsibilities of protecting the rights of the child in Nigeria suffer from acute ignorance of what these rights are. The matter is made worse by the fact that the owner of these rights, the child is equally to a very large extent ignorant, thus he/she cannot demand for these God ordained rights.

What steps are to be taken to ensure that the Nigerian Child is not left out in reaping the benefits of the child protection through child participation?   It is this question that leads us to the definition of Child’s Rights Education:  Child’s Rights Education seeks to empower the Nigerian child with basic information about his/her rights, with a view to making him/her a very loud voice and an effective force in the fight for his protection and respect for his rights as outlined by the Child’s Rights Act, 2003.

My case for Child’s Rights Education

It is a known fact in social struggles that rights are not given except they are demanded. It flows from this fact that no one makes a demand for a right he is not aware he is entitled to.

I am therefore of the firm view that the Nigerian Child will miss out on his roles of meaningful participation in his protection except he is purge of ignorance. The reason is that a Child cannot participate in matters that affect him if he lacks knowledge of the issue involved.

Thus, the unavoidable foundation upon which the capacity of children to live up their responsibilities under the law and participation in all matters affecting the child rest on Child’s Rights Education in upper primary and secondary schools. Except a child is equipped with knowledge; it becomes impossible for him to make any meaningful contribution, even when called to participate.

When a child is armed with knowledge of his rights he does not only wait to be called upon to participate, he agitates to participate. This is because Knowledge is power, information is strength, and ignorance is destructive and costly.  Nothing is more desirable at this stage of our development than a proper, vigorous and consistent education of the, the children and adolescent on their rights. It is my firm belief that the child will continue to suffer countless social, economic and political disadvantages if he/she is not properly educated on his/her rights and obligations in the society.

I think I should sign out here. Thank you for visiting today. Sure you learnt one or two things on how to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY and Think the FUTURE.

IMPORTANT NOTICE:  Enroll for The ChildProtectionCREED™ Mobile Academy ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,’ Fredrick Douglass Deliverables:ChildProtectionCREED™ Cds; Compelling and instructive E-Books(Minimum of 3); Written Social Empowerment Nuggets(Every other day); Weekly  SMS, Attendance of  the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminar for Couple; Opportunity to nominate others for the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminars; Hosting of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Rountable and lots more. Registration & Participation Fee: The lowest fee you have ever paid for a HIGH QUALITY, EXCEPTIONALLY IMPACTFUL and INVALUABLY REWARDING Empowerment program

Tested & Highly Recommended:  ‘I commend your presentation. It was backed up with so much passion. We all found it very inspiring and will definitely recommend you to others.’ Dr. (Mrs.) C.O. Ogunsanya, Managing Director, Oxbridge Tutorial College, G.R.A. Ikeja and Chairman, Association of Private Educators of Nigeria

Further Details: Contact Faculty Officer: T: 234-8186830275 E: fo@taiwoakinlami.com

So, You Want to Send Your Child to a Boarding School? Ask these Child Protection-focused Questions(3)

3rd Question: Is the school child protection-compliant? Releasing your child a boarding school must be a tough decision to make and it must be made in the best interest of the child. Protection of children is not something that we should pay cursory attention to. How do you know a boarding school is child protection compliant? I think the first attribute of a child protection conscious boarding school is a Child Protection Policy on which all the stakeholders in the community, including the child are trained on the implementation of same. It must not be a document, which best relevance is the decoration of one of the shelves in the head of school’s office. The policy must have provisions, which are peculiar to a boarding school. I will take time to shed light on some of these provisions in subsequent questions.

4th Question: What machinery do they have in place to give expression to the Child Protection Policy? One of the highpoints of a boarding school child protection policy is the qualifications, character and credibility of the house masters/mistress, who are with the children in the hostels. Does he or she have the track record of effectively protecting children? What is the policy’s recommendation for due diligence before hiring of someone into that very important position?  Is there commitment to the ‘two-adult rule’? That is no one adult must be with a child or children alone without the company of a colleague. For a mixed boarding school, it is the practice most of the time for the female to head female hostels and male heads male hostels but is that enough in view of bizarre cases of abuses rampant in boarding schools these days?  What is the tested supervision mechanism put in place as checks and balance to the house master/mistress? Some of the cases we have had to attend to are not only bizarre but disturbing. A case was reported of a house mistress in a big boarding school in Nigeria, who found faeces on the floor of the toilet. Claiming that she had warned the students, times without number on their toilet manners, she insisted that the children must taste the faeces with their mouth. One of the pupils refused and reported the matter to his parents. This sound stranger than fiction, but I tell you it is the truth. It happened. The parent, whose child was affected told me the story herself life and direct. Parents have to be careful and beware.

5th Question: Does the Child Protection Policy make clear reference to how to deal with health issues and emergencies? In recent times we have found cases where children have died in boarding schools as a result of one form of ailment or the other. In some of these cases parents have accused the school of negligence. The foregoing has raised critical questions about preventive and curative measures put in place by the boarding school authorities. The question has been asked if the school authority provides as simple as mosquito nets for the children to prevent malaria. The question has been asked to how equipped the schools sick bay is. It has also been on the front burner of discussions that the sick bay must have a clear list of the kind of ailment it can attend to and there should be a strong and accessible referral mechanism in place. Some have also toyed with the idea that a boarding school, depending on its population should be able to run a full-fledge medical clinic, well staffed with medical personnel like resident doctors and qualified nursing staff, who are able to respond, particularly in cases of emergency, which are inevitable in the boarding school. Some of the other issues which have been on the table concerning health care in the boarding school is the level of care attention available for a child. For example, if a child is ill, who does he/she talk to? If the child is taken to the hospital and put on medication, who ensures that the child faithfully adhere to his or her prescriptions, knowing that this is a critical part of the treatment? We all know that it can be a running battle getting children to take their medication for different reasons. Who monitors the child to ensure that the child returns to the sick bay or referred to a hospital if symptoms persist? At what point does the school bring the parents into the picture? If the child does not report that he or she is ill is there a vigilant caregiver, who is capable of spotting him or her and ensuring that he or she receives medical treatment?

One of the parents, who lost her daughter in a boarding school in Ogun State, submitted in her interview with The Vanguard newspaper, December 3, 2011 and I find her preventive suggestion instructive. Thus, though, it is copious, I decided to share it below. Please be instructed, there should be a doctor who visits weekly, one or two qualified resident nursing staff with adequate experience and a separate healthcare facility administration staff. Boarding schools should have a minimum of six observation beds per thousand pupils.

She continues, ‘the clinic should have a stethoscope and a thermometer; daily out-patient clinics including weekends, 24-hour emergency access, dental clinics or access to outside healthcare facility as well as the technology and medical equipment. There should be access to outside medical laboratory services and proper medical records. There should be drugs and medical supplies, a minimum stock of essentials such as bandages, disinfectants, anti-malaria, analgesics in the drug cupboard. The school should know the source, track its storage and use. Quality assurance processes must have protocols, guidelines and standard operating procedures for common health problems in place.’  

In conclusion she said, ‘there should be prompt notification of parents should pupils become ill. The school should have guidelines for contacting parents and providing information about referral to outside private or public hospitals, in the case of serious medical emergency.’

I think I should sign out here. Thank you for visiting today. Sure you learnt one or two things on how to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY and Think the FUTURE.

IMPORTANT NOTICE:  Enroll for The ChildProtectionCREED™ Mobile Academy ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,’ Fredrick Douglass Deliverables:ChildProtectionCREED™ Cds; Compelling and instructive E-Books(Minimum of 3); Written Social Empowerment Nuggets(Every other day); Weekly  SMS, Attendance of  the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminar for Couple; Opportunity to nominate others for the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminars; Hosting of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Rountable and lots more. Registration & Participation Fee: The lowest fee you have ever paid for a HIGH QUALITY, EXCEPTIONALLY IMPACTFUL and INVALUABLY REWARDING Empowerment program

Tested & Highly Recommended:  ‘I commend your presentation. It was backed up with so much passion. We all found it very inspiring and will definitely recommend you to others.’ Dr. (Mrs.) C.O. Ogunsanya, Managing Director, Oxbridge Tutorial College, G.R.A. Ikeja and Chairman, Association of Private Educators of Nigeria

Further Details: Contact Faculty Officer: T: 234-8186830275 E: fo@taiwoakinlami.com

So, You Want to Send Your Child to a Boarding School? Ask these Child Protection-focused Questions(2)

I had a conversation with a lady, who sought my advice on her children. She had informed me that the behavior of her children was giving her a headache. She said she did not know where the children picked their defiant behaviors from. These children are all in boarding schools. I advised that since she was this worried about her children, she should pull them out boarding school for at least a year, spend time with them and be there for them to instruct them. Her response was instructive. She said she could not pull the children out of the boarding school. I was curious to hear her reason. She said to me, ‘I am a career woman and I am busy and so is their father. If I bring them home, who will be responsible for them? You see, her response revealed to me why she sent her children to boarding school in the first instance. She wanted to have time. The truth is that this kind of story is not peculiar. It shares a disturbing commonality with many others.

As a child protection enthusiast, my concern is that parents may not be doing enough  due diligence to ensure that the protection of their children is guaranteed before they send their children to boarding school. The race for convenience is often run with the energy of desperation. There is a quest not to only solve a problem when convenience is involved but to solve it now and this is antithetical to the principle of due diligence, without which no man can take quality decisions.

With the foregoing in mind I urge you to join me in considering the following child protection-focused questions you must ask from yourself, spouse and the school before your send your child to a boarding school:

  1. Is the child old enough?  There are diverse and divergent of views as to when a child should be sent to a boarding school. It is not in my character to join issues. My simple thinking is that for a child to be released to go to a boarding school, he must be old enough to be able to carry out a measure of protection. Self-protection is a critical issue today in dealing with abuses, particularly when we deal with child-to-child abuse, which may also be referred to as bullying. Please note that by self-protection, I am not talking about self-defence. Self-defence is only a minute part of self-protection.  While self-protection focus on intelligent actions, aimed at protection, self-defence may deal more with cure. The number one rule of self-protection for a child is the consciousness of himself, his environment and the possible danger and the ability to accurately interpret same and seek protection as a preventive measure. Part of the foregoing is that the child understands boundaries, the rules, which have been put in place to protect him and how to access the covering of such rules. The child must be in a position to be able to articulate his views. For example a 9 year old boy was sent to a boys-only boarding school for the first time. He returned home after a term and told his parents that he was not going back. After much probing, he revealed that older boys were sexually molesting him and that he spent most of his time fighting and devising strategies in his own little way how to protect himself.  What if he was not conscious enough to appreciate his situation?
  2. Is the child trained to speak up? It is one thing to believe that the child is old enough; it is another for the child to be taught how to protect himself. A child must be trained to stand up for himself. This is not the primary responsibility of a school and the parents should not pass the bulk. It is our duty to study our children very well, sharpen their backbones before sending them out. Geoffrey Holder instructed, ‘education begins at home. You can’t blame the school for not putting into your child what you don’t put into him.’

I think I should sign out here. Thank you for visiting today. Sure you learnt one or two things on how to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY and Think the FUTURE.

IMPORTANT NOTICE:  Enroll for The ChildProtectionCREED™ Mobile Academy ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,’ Fredrick Douglass Deliverables:ChildProtectionCREED™ Cds; Compelling and instructive E-Books(Minimum of 3); Written Social Empowerment Nuggets(Every other day); Weekly  SMS, Attendance of  the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminar for Couple; Opportunity to nominate others for the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminars; Hosting of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Rountable and lots more. Registration & Participation Fee: The lowest fee you have ever paid for a HIGH QUALITY, EXCEPTIONALLY IMPACTFUL and INVALUABLY REWARDING Empowerment program

Tested & Highly Recommended:  ‘I commend your presentation. It was backed up with so much passion. We all found it very inspiring and will definitely recommend you to others.’ Dr. (Mrs.) C.O. Ogunsanya, Managing Director, Oxbridge Tutorial College, G.R.A. Ikeja and Chairman, Association of Private Educators of Nigeria

Further Details: Contact Faculty Officer: T: 234-8186830275 E: fo@taiwoakinlami.com

So, You Want to Send Your Child to a Boarding School? Ask these Child Protection-focused Questions(1)

Few sessions away, I discussed facts to consider before you register your child in a school. I think the tools shared therein also apply to the issue of sending your child to a boarding school.

Recently, a lady sent me a message asking for my opinion about sending his eight-year old daughter to a boarding school. I responded by saying that it was a question very difficult for me to answer. I said that before I could answer the question, I wanted to know why she wanted to send the child to boarding school in the first instance. She did not respond to my question and therefore I couldn’t advise her. I wouldn’t know if my question set her thinking and she had to rethink her position.

I think the first question before sending our children to a boarding school is not to the school. It is to the sending authority, that is parents/guardians and it is very simple: why do you want to send your child to a boarding school? The response to this question is not as simple as the question itself. In fact, except it is approach by the respondent with conscience and sincerity, the question is not likely to be answered in the best interest of the child and this jeopardizes the protection of the child.

I believe that it may be difficult to answer this question without first defining what a boarding school is and the origin of same. Wikipedia submits, Boarding school is a school where some or all people study and live during the school year with their fellow students and possibly teachers and/or administrators. The word ‘boarding’ is used in the sense of “bed and board,” i.e., lodging and meals.On the origin, it reveals, The practice of sending children to other families or to schools so that they could learn together is of very long standing, recorded in classical literature and in UK records going back over a thousand years. In Europe, a practice developed by early mediaeval times of sending boys to be taught by literate clergymen, either in monasteries or as pages in great households.’

The origin tells us that sending a child to a school or household was inevitable at the time it was conceived as it was not a formal arrangement. It was more of sending the children to learn most particularly by observing ‘great households’ and ‘literate clergymen’ (teachers) and the great principles the parents of the children admired in the ‘great households’ and ‘literate clergymen.’ Two things stood out: inevitability and credibility of the values to be imbibed by the child. The parents could vouch for the institutions they sent their children to.

Does the foregoing agree with the reason we send our children to boarding school these days? Is boarding school inevitable for all the children who are sent there? I think not. I think while, it might be inevitable for some, it may not be for many. Some parents may want to send their children to school abroad and it is inevitable for them to be boarders. Likewise some may live abroad and they want their children to school in their own country and there are not relatives available or trusted enough to keep the children with. Therefore boarding school becomes inevitable. This may also pass for children, whose parents live out of the town where the boarding school is located. It is however important to state that the protection of the child should be paramount in deciding a boarding school to send a child to. Protection here refers to all-round protection from all forms of abuse. Protection also includes preservation of values, which are cardinal and dear to the parents/guardians of the child.

In my experience with parents, particularly in Nigeria, I have come to discover that most people send their children to boarding schools not because it is inevitable but because it is convenient. When convenience becomes the cardinal instigator of why we send our children to boarding school, then we sacrifice our values and the child protection. Convenience has no respect for thoroughness and sacrifice. The only motivation is to do away with a disturbing burden and move on. How the burden is done away with is not as important to the one who seek convenience as to the idea of doing away with the burden.

I think I should sign out here. Thank you for visiting today. Sure you learnt one or two things on how to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY and Think the FUTURE.

IMPORTANT NOTICE:  Enroll for The ChildProtectionCREED™ Mobile Academy ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,’ Fredrick Douglass Deliverables:ChildProtectionCREED™ Cds; Compelling and instructive E-Books(Minimum of 3); Written Social Empowerment Nuggets(Every other day); Weekly  SMS, Attendance of  the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminar for Couple; Opportunity to nominate others for the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminars; Hosting of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Rountable and lots more. Registration & Participation Fee: The lowest fee you have ever paid for a HIGH QUALITY, EXCEPTIONALLY IMPACTFUL and INVALUABLY REWARDING Empowerment program

Tested & Highly Recommended:  ‘I commend your presentation. It was backed up with so much passion. We all found it very inspiring and will definitely recommend you to others.’ Dr. (Mrs.) C.O. Ogunsanya, Managing Director, Oxbridge Tutorial College, G.R.A. Ikeja and Chairman, Association of Private Educators of Nigeria

Further Details: Contact Faculty Officer: T: 234-8186830275 E: fo@taiwoakinlami.com