Boy, 3 drank caustic soda at school, who should be held accountable: the school or the state?

Paying for insurance of any kind isn’t what we take seriously in Nigeria. In big cities, it is taking ground a bit, it is only minority who understands the importance of insurance policy especially business insurance.

My children’s school has insurance to cover them from serious financial loss in case of accident – this is part of the school fees and I believe it is compulsory. Either they have insurance or they face paying out of pocket for any accident.

While private schools is very common in Nigeria, so common every neighbourhood has one, especially in the south, insurance policy to protect the children isn’t a priority.

If accident happens especially in the mushroom schools that ordinary citizens were forced to enrol their children in due to lack of better state/federal schools – parents pick up the pieces and pray to God to intervene.

One of the reasons, I have found out that insurance policy for schools is very important is that it protects the children – so there will be no dispute about their care and most importantly that they receive timely intervention.

Darasimi Ogunwunmi, a three year old boy attends Fahsal Children’s School, Ilupeju Estate, Idiroko, Ogun State. On Nov 19 2015, like many children of his age, when he was thirsty, he mistook caustic soda that his teacher placed on the floor for something that could quench his thirst – he ended up in hospital later in the day.

Reportedly, the school was in the process of expanding their business line to soap making, and the processing is done right within easy reach of toddlers.

Here I wondered if Mrs Fausat Abubakar, the proprietor of the school has her own children or that of her family at the school.

Accidents happen all the time but to assume it wouldn’t which leads to failure to ring-fence business i.e having no insurance is a big problem in Nigeria.

It is utter carelessness that chemicals for soap is left lying around within children’s reach. Also after the poor Darasimi drank the chemical, his stomach wall must have been burnt before being rushed to the hospital as he was already through up blood.

Upsetting to see that the school proprietor did not take full responsibility by being there for the poor boy throughout the ordeal, reading through the story reveals the ugly side of Nigeria business owners especially schools where they ducked rather than being accountable during crisis – you can hardly blame them because they’d get away with it.

Parents are now left with raising money for the boy’s operation. I shake my head at the comments asking Ogun state government to step up and help the family – I support that everyone who can should chip in to help the boy so hopefully be giving a second chance at life but what about the call to hold Mrs Fausat Abubakar accountable for every kobo spent?

How about using lesson from this and many other examples from the past to make sure that everyone who founded schools is not all about profit alone, but also to take utmost care to protect children in their care?

Darasimi could not eat due to sore stomach, hence his skeletal picture in a perfect world, his growing body could have been nourished via tube while dealing with the effect of chemical poison in his stomach.

I pray Darasimi responds well to treatment.

I hope the school owner is made to pay for all costs incurred, otherwise where is justice for little ones in our midsts?

Categories: Education, Nigeria

Tags: , ,

11 replies

  1. Where I live in the U.S. a small child was badly burned by a pot of boiling water that was in the classroom at his school. The teacher who put the pot there and lied to the police about it was arrested and was found guilty. She will go to prison.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so sad. I believe the teacher should be held responsible. He/she should know better to take such things out of the reach of children.
    The school should also be able to assist with the medical bills.
    Concerning the insurance, i believe it should be made a state issue so that the children regardless of their social status or how deep their parents’ pockets are, they would all have equal rights.
    Above all, pray the poor kid survives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is the prayer, that the poor boy survives this ordeal.

      On insurance, I really don’t know how it works but I suppose private schools are ‘for profit’ so they should be able to protect children in their care. However, I know we have unique circumstance in Nigeria given the wide range of private schools around – I agree that state may look into a deal whereby they contribute towards school insurance premium that way, they provide incentive for schools and then make sure every school is covered.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a vicious circle, if the school insures, if anything happens, the insurance company will exhaust every means not to pay up, so the school will most likely not insure. Parents owe schools fees, most schools are improvised, they can’t meet their bills, most likely the reason the school went into soap making. Parents abandon their wards in school even after closing hours, I won’t be surprised if the incident occurred after school hours because ordinarily the children ought to be engaged in class.Leaving things in God’s hand because ‘Vengeance is mine, thus saith the Lord’ is another reason people don’t take their duty of care serious . Being easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for justice to be obtained from our Law courts is the final straw so from the look of things, things are more likely to continue just the way they are for a long time. There are so many of such cases in court and in the media, there is no known case logically prosecuted to conclusion .

        Liked by 1 person

        • I hear you Naijamum, it is ‘eru amukun’ – this is where I have issue with our education system, while private schools have been tremendous help providing classrooms for millions of citizens neglected by the government, I think government has a big role to play in enforcing standards both in public and private schools.

          It is such a shame because the only people that will continue to suffer if things stay the way they have always been are the ordinary people in the society – they are the majority.

          This is another area that I disagree with government initiative of all these crazy plans for schools when basic safety of a little child can not be guaranteed.


  3. Oh my goodness! What a nightmare and a careless teacher!

    Liked by 1 person

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