Sylvester Oromoni: Deploy social workers to address bullying in schools – Group

The Nigeria Association of Social Workers (NASoW) has advised the federal, state and local governments to deploy social workers to all educational institutions across the country immediately.

NASoW, which is the umbrella body of professional social workers across the country, noted that this is necessary in order to stem the tide of bullying in schools across the country.

Recall that about five students of Dowen College, Lagos, were alleged to have bullied and beaten 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni into a coma.

The incident led to the death of the student on November 30, 2021.

NASoW, in a statement signed by its National President, Alhaji Mashood Mustapha, advised the government to employ and deploy school social workers to schools in order to curb the menace.

Mustapha, in the statement made available to journalists in Ibadan on Monday through the Public Relations Officer of the union, Mr. Musliudeen Adebayo, said that school social workers have roles in providing emotional support to the students by giving them a helping hand to overcome challenges.

He also used the medium to appeal to the National Assembly to re-pass the Nigerian Council for Social Work [Establishment] Bill 2020.

Mustapha, while sympathising with the family of the victim, called for a thorough investigation to unravel the circumstances that lead to the death of the deceased.

“NASoW is concerned with the incidents of bullying, oppression and victimisation of students by their colleagues in schools across the country.

“We are disturbed by the spate of violence in our educational institutions. It is a social problem that required the intervention of social workers, and the best to handle it are school social workers,” he said.

“As social workers, we have the capacity to provide intervention programs to students in our educational institutions. Social workers are trained to provide social and emotional support to students in schools. We represent the interest of the and the vulnerable. That underscores the importance of school social workers.

“Governments at all levels need to employ and deploy social workers to schools especially boarding schools, the social workers will provide psychosocial support for students at trying period to avoid what happened to Sylvester Oromoni. We need to be proactive enough to avoid future occurrences.

“On this premise, I wish to again, call on National Assembly to please expedite action on the passage of social work bill.

“Our bill, Nigerian Council for Social Work Establishment Bill 2017 has earlier been passed by the National Assembly, but President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018 declined to assent the bill due to some grey areas.

“The bill which has now been perfected has been sent to the National Assembly for passage. The bill is now in the Red chamber. We appealed to the National Assembly to speed up the passage for President Muhammadu Buhari to append his signature.

“Social Work profession is yet to be codified in Nigerian Law. It is pertinent to mention that our noble profession – Social Work is yet to be codified in Nigerian Law. Permit us to also appeal to the ninth National Assembly to speedily re-pass the Nigerian Council for Social Work (Establishment) Bill 2020’’ for Mr. President’s assent”.

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