The school‘s physical infrastructure is of paramount importance in as far as safety in schools is concerned. They include structures such as classrooms, dormitories, libraries, laboratories, dining halls, kitchen, toilets and playground among others. According to the Safety standards Manual (2008), such structures should be appropriate, adequate and properly located devoid of any risks to users or to those around them. They should comply with the provisions of the Education Act (Cap 211), Public health Act (Cap 242) and Ministry of public works building regulations
Reviewed studies indicate that school structures should be safe to ensure proper teaching and learning processes. Donmez and Guven (2002) for example, found out
that the most serious safety problems in schools in Malatya, Turkey came from lack of control in the playground and school corridors. Donmez and Guven also note that parents value adequate and clean school facilities. These findings highlight the significance of the safety of physical facilities in an institution. The current study assessed the status of physical facilities such as playgrounds and their influence on teaching and learning in the sampled schools. In addition, to fill the geographical gap, the current study looks at the school safety and its influence on teaching and learning processes in public primary schools in Lagos state in Nigeria.
Mgadla (2006) carried out an investigation on the basic safety and security status of 23 Primary schools and 12 Public Primary schools in Sedibeng District, South Africa. The study employed phenomenological approach, purposive sampling was used and the main respondents were head teachers. The research instruments used in the study were observation and interview schedules while data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and qualitative procedures. The study showed that schools within township areas were prone to unsafe conditions and threats of violence due to, inter alia, poor resources and infrastructure, their location, especially in and around informal settlement, the type of their building and environmental design. Mgadla‘s study informs the current study on the basic safety and security status of primary and primary schools . However, whereas Mgadla‘s study employed a phenomenological approach, the current study employed the descriptive survey research design. In addition, purposive sampling was used in Mgadla‘s study since the main respondents were head teachers. In the present study, stratified random sampling was used for principals, deputy principals, students while purposive
sampling was used for CQASOs for Lagos state. Further, to fill the geographical gap, the current study was carried out in Nigeria.
Disaster preparedness is very crucial for ensuring that schools are safe. Kipng‘eno and Kyalo (2009) noted that when head teachers, teachers and students were asked whether their schools had performed fire drills in the past one year, it was found out that neither head teachers nor teachers had participated in any fire drill a year before the time of the study. Ten respondents said that their school had performed a fire drill but they had not been involved. Only one respondent from the category of schools that had not performed any fire drills indicated to have participated. Kipng‘eno and Kyalo‘s study informs the present study on the importance of fire drills as a way of ensuring safety in a school setting. However, unlike Kipng‘eno and Kyalo‘s study, the present study goes further to analyse the nexus between school safety and its influence on teaching and learning processes in public primary schools in Lagos state in Nigeria.
Maritim, King‘oo and Barmao (2015) assess the state of physical infrastructural safeness in primary schools in Nigeria. The study was anchored on the Chaos Theory which offers lessons for managing periods of extreme instability in a system. The study employed the descriptive survey design. Stratified and purposive sampling techniques were used to determine the sample size. The respondents of the study included head teachers, teachers, students and security officers. The research instruments used were questionnaire, interview schedule and observation checklist. Data obtained was analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The study notes that most schools were not adequately prepared for emergencies both in terms of
planning and equipment. Even though Maritim, King‘oo and Barmao study
examines physical infrastructural safeness in primary schools in Nigeria, it informs the present study on the methodology employed in the study. That is, the research design, research instruments and the respondents. However, unlike Maritim, King‘oo and Barmao‘s study, the current study employs the system theory. Further, in order to fill the geographical gap, the current study was carried out in selected public primary schools in Lagos state.
In order for schools to ensure students are safe, the laid down policy and procedures must be followed. Nyabuti, Role and Balyage (2015) look at the safety policy implementation framework for primary schools in Nigeria. The study targeted 18 public National primary schools in Nigeria which had sat for KCSE since 2010. Stratified random sampling was used to sample 6 schools to take part in the study. The six national primary schools had 6 head teachers, 120 class teachers, 300 form three students, 6 watch-men, and 4 Quality Assurance and Standards Officers (QASOs), making a total of 436 respondents. The significant differences in terms of implementation, level of awareness, attitudes of teachers and students, and strategies in enhancing school safety, were tested using One-way Analysis of Variance. Nyabuti, Role and Balyage note that there was minimal safety awareness, with variations in attitude among teachers and students. Head-teachers, Quality Assurance and Standards Officers (QASOs), teachers, students and security personnel were found to be playing a significant role in the implementation of safety policies in schools. The current study intended to find out how the sampled schools had implemented the safety standard guidelines. Nyabuti, Role and Balyage‘s study informs the present study on the safety policy implementation framework for primary schools in Nigeria. However, while Nyabuti, Role and Balyage‘s study employs ANOVA in the analysis of data, the present study is based on descriptive statistics. In addition, the present study did not sample watchmen as respondents and did not limit its scope to national schools. These are some of the gaps addressed in the present study.