By CHIOMA OBINNA
In its quest to stem the spread of HIV & AIDS in the country, the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) in collaboration with Action Health Incorporation (AHI), a youth health and development non-government organisation have begun a master trainers course on Family Life and HIV Education into the school curriculum, now known as Family Life and Emerging Health Issues (FLEHI), for lecturers in all the colleges of education nationwide.
The intensive training programme was aimed at scaling up nationwide implementation of the FLHE curriculum which is the country’s major education sector response designed to halt the increasing HIV epidemic among in – school youths.
In a chat with Good Health Weekly shortly after the closure of the two – week training held in Lagos, Executive Director of NCCE, Mr. Mohammad Junaid who was represented by a director in the commission, Mr. Dalhatu Ahmad said the training was to increase the lecturers knowledge and comfort in discussing sexuality – related concepts as well as their skills in the appropriate methodologies required to teach FLHE to their undergraduate teachers – in -training.
Executive Director of AHI, Mrs Adenike Esiet who recalled that the directives to include FLHE in school curriculum started in 2009, regretted that 11 years down the line, there is still a significant paucity in the number of trained teachers needed for its effective implementation.
For instance of all the 94 colleges of education across the country, only 22 colleges have lecturers trained for the integration of this course into their teacher- training programmes. The training is therefore, an important contribution to increasing the pool of lecturers equipped to ensure the curriculum’s implementation in more teacher- training institutions in the country.”
Esiet said under the initiative, AHI with funding received from the Ford Foundation and MacArthur Foundation is helping to catalyse the development of a national base of lecturers with the competence to prepare undergraduate teachers for FLHE implementation as part of their minimum general requirements for graduation with goal of ensuring a consistent supply of FLHE teachers for the education sector. The 40 lecturers were drawn from 13 colleges of education making it a total of 35 colleges of education trained on FLHE by AHI.