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Often, due to the need for children to acquire knowledge and skills in order to become better people in the future, parents enroll their very young children in school, thus, entrusting their safety to the hands of school authorities. But how safe are kids when they are left in the hands of school authorities?

In spite of various security measures adopted, there have been growing concerns over the safety of children while they are in school. This is because of a number of incidents that put the safety of kids at risk, including unauthorized persons picking up kids from school, truancy, and in worst cases, kidnapping.

On Wednesday’s edition of Joy FM‘s Super Morning Show, discussions centered on the safety of kids while at school. Callers who phoned into the show shared their experiences and why they believe their wards are safe or not.  

The majority of the callers said their wards are not safe.

Recently, there have been reports of kidnapping in schools. In March this year, a 26-year-old man was arrested by the Police for abducting a five-year-old girl at Walewale in the Northern East Region.

The girl is said to have gone missing two weeks ago after she went to school and did not return home.

Her disappearance sparked fear and panic in the Walewale town as relatives and friends searched the nook and crannies of the municipality without any results.

Later, the suspect, Solomon Awunibiliga, who is said to have abducted the girl from Walewale and absconded to Mirigu, a farming community in the Kasena-Nakana Municipality in the Upper East Region, was arrested upon intelligence.

In the midst of these concerns, there has been a successful effort to bring this under check.

With the invention of the Smart School App, parents need not worry anymore about the safety of their wards.

The Smart School App is a Modern and Complete School Automation Software that suits almost every school or educational institution from student admission to completion. What the App does is that it allows the school to automatically verify that anyone picking up the child from school is actually the right person to do so. Anytime a child is picked up, the app automatically alerts the parent that this person picked up your child at this time. Interestingly, these records are kept.  

Explaining the rationale behind the App, Chief Vision Officer (CVO) of Smart Schools Application (SmartSapp), Frank D. Natie told host Winston Amoah that this is part of efforts “to ensure the safety of every ward and make it super easy for every parent to follow and be involved in their child’s education.”

“We are giving school owners this peace of mind and giving them the assurance that there is no way anybody can pick up your child if they are not authorised,” he said.

He recounted how worried he was about the safety of his wards prior to the invention of the app.

“Personally, I’m a parent so I had a few concerns with my kids’ school and some of the concerns were that, anytime I sent someone to pick the child, all they needed to do was to mention the names of the kids, and the kids were given out. No form of verification, nothing to really show that this person was actually sent by me.

“It was a bit worrying to me as a parent, so we set out to find a solution to help the schools to be able to ensure that the right people are picking up children from school, so we came up with Smart School App,” he said.

How does the App work?

There are two sides to the App – the parent’s side and that of the school.

On the parent’s side of the App, “If someone is to pick your child, you just have to add the name and contact details of the person with their picture and within five minutes after you add the details, the school gets the information. There is no need to call the school, once you key in the details, you’re done,” Mr. Natie said.

“You can share a unique QR code from within the App with this person. If the person doesn’t have a smartphone, no need to worry, just let the person go to the school, mention his phone number, if it is keyed into the App, the details of the person will automatically appear and also show the details of all the students he/she is supposed to pick and allows the person to pick the child and the parents are notified,” he added.

 It also has a feature that checks truancy.  

“What we’ve done is that, when the drop off period of every school is due, the App will automatically check, any child not in school, the App will send the parent a message asking them why the child is not in school,” Mr. Natie explained.


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