The National Commission for Colleges of Education, NCCE, in collaboration with United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, is training 100 teachers from the Northern and Southern part of the country on Family Life and Emerging Health Issues.
The 2023 training is in two batches with 50 teachers from five Northern States and 50 teachers from five Southern State.
The states are FCT, Nasarawa, Benue, Kaduna, Taraba for the first batch while teachers from Lagos, Abia, Cross River, Ebonyi and Enugu states are for the second batch.
The training is part of efforts by the commission to build the capacity of teachers on the subject matter who will in turn inculcate this knowledge on students in colleges of education and unity schools in the country.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the two-day training in Nasarawa state on Monday, the NCCE Executive Secretary, Prof Paulinus Chijioke Okwelle, emphasised that family life and health are the cornerstone in which a thriving society is built.
According to him, the NCCE expects teachers to incorporate FLEHI into school curriculum to “give knowledge on reproductive health, promote awareness and prevent the spread of HIV, build the confidence of student teachers in imparting knowledge of Family Life and HIV/AIDS Education at basic education level, for a healthy and supportive environment which is conducive to effective teaching, learning and personal development”.
On his part, the NCCE Director of Information and Communication Technology, Mr. Plus Ekireghwo stated that since the introduction of FLEHI in Colleges of Education in Nigeria, the commission has been committed to training teachers on the best and effective ways of facilitating the course.
He expressed optimism that at the end of the training, there will be effective implementation of FLEHI in schools across the country.
“As we delve into the discussions over the next two days, it is crucial to understand the evolving landscape of family life and health issues. The challenges faced by our educational institutions are multifaceted, ranging from mental health concerns to changing family dynamics. We must recognise and address these issues with empathy, understanding and a commitment to positive change.
“I want to assure participants that we have highly experienced resource persons put together to conduct this training”, he added.
Representative of the Head of Education Sector, UNESCO, Oye Tomori – Adeleye emphasised the importance of this training, especially to teachers who are highly influential to the lives of children.
She said teachers have the most important job in the world which is imparting positively in the lives of children and guiding them on the right path.
The UNESCO rep further charged teachers to ensure that children in their schools are aware of their reproductive health and issues surrounding family health.
One of the facilitators at the training, Mrs Immaculate Dona-Ezenne, a Chief lecturer from the FCT College of Education, Zuba, stressed the need for teachers to domesticate issues ranging from puberty, girl child education, violence at home, the right to exist as a human being, HIV/AIDS and other emerging issues in Nigerian schools.
She added that, “The training is a learner centered training and the emphasis is for everybody who is coming here to change, transform his or herself into a facilitator”.
Another facilitator and Director of Directorate and Undergraduate, Federal College of Education Okene, Innocent Ene said judging from background, so many people are not comfortable calling their reproductive organs with the exact names.
Ene, who stressed the importance of the knowledge of one’s body parts, urged teachers to build confidence in their students to call their reproductive and sexual organs by their real names.
Also, Adamu Panni, a teacher from Federal Government Girls College Jalingo, promised to inculcate the knowledge received from the training to the children in his school.
The concept of Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW), Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Harmful Practices (HP) and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) are all embedded in the 2020 reviewed FLEHI (GSE 124) Minimum standard of the National Commission for Colleges of Education, meant for the training of pre-service teachers for Basic Education level in Nigeria.