June 28, 2018

FG infuses  trafficking in persons into school curriculum

FG infuses  trafficking in persons into school curriculum

DG NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, (r) and Executive Secretary, NERDC Prof. Ismail Junaidu, at the seminar.

By Evelyn Usman

Resolved to address the  worrisome menace of trafficking in human, the  Federal Government yesterday, concluded  plans to infuse Trafficking in Persons, TIP into the curricula of Basic  and Secondary schools across Nigeria.

DG NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, (r) and Executive Secretary, NERDC Prof. Ismail Junaidu, at the seminar.

To this effect, a two- day  sensitisation and advocacy workshop organised for publishers and authors, by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons , NAPTIP kicked off yesterday in Lagos, in order for the targeted participants to provide needed text books and other learning materials to compliment FG’s effort.

Recall that between 2016 and 2017, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development , ICMPD collaborated with the NAPTIP and the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, NERDC to infuse TIP issues into the curricula for Basic and Secondary schools in Nigeria , with a view to ensuring that young Nigerians were armed with the necessary knowledge to protect themselves from the lures of human traffickers.

In her welcome address, the Director General of NAPTIP,  Dame Julie Okah-Donli, explained that
the essence  of mainstreaming TIP issues into the curricula of schools in Nigeria was to deepen the prevention  aspect of the agency’s work, stressing  that with the knowledge of TIP issues and related crimes at early age by the pupils and students,  it would be difficult for them to fall prey to traffickers and  by extension, make them become vanguards against TIP.

She said : ” It is our conviction that we cannot  win this battle  alone without  the collective support of the various  stakeholders  including children  who are usually  the target, the educators whose duty it is to mould  the lives of the children in schools, and the authors and publishers who produce the materials used in teaching our children.”

She lamented that despite NAPTIP’s achievement over time, in form of enlightenment, partnership, prevention and prosecution, some children , women and youths still dared the dreaded Mediterranean sea and deserts.

She further lamented that uninformed victims were becoming increasingly vulnerable to the crafted schemes of human traffickers, who she said often devised new strategies and routes.

“ A counter -strategy to these sharp practices therefore, is effective dissemination of information on trafficking in persons, the modus oparandi of traffickers, ways of escaping their claws and raising citizens capable of resisting them and their antics”, she stated.

The infusion according to Okoh-Doni, would become an effort in futility , if the pupils and students did not have corresponding materials and texts to buttress the topics.

This, she said necessitated the two -day seminar, expressing optimism that authors and publishers would be adequately informed and sensitized about human trafficking, and at the end produce suitable materials that would make teaching the topics easier.

Through the duration of the seminar, the DG said participants would be taken through what Human Trafficking is, its scope, causes and effect, as well as effort NAPTIP had taken to combat it.

In his address,  Executive Secretary of the  Nigerian Educational Research and Development  Council, NERDC Prof. Ismail Junaidu, who described human trafficking as a modern day slavery in which human being are controlled, exploited and dehumanised for profit,  said that the burning desire to eradicate human trafficking in Nigeria led to the idea of infusing TIP issues into school  curriculum.

He highlighted the aims of the infusion to include:Creating  awareness on-the dangers of human trafficking in the society and  reducing  or totally eliminating  the incidence of human trafficking in Nigeria.

“The following are the carrier subjects in which TIP issues were infused: Basic Education :English studies, National Values (Social studies, Civic Education, Security Education); and Basic Science and Technology  (Physical and Health Education. “Senior Secondary Education: English Language, Civic Education, Government and Healthy Education,” he informed.

On his part, the  National  Programme Officer of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development Development, ICMPD, Mrs Amala Obiokoye-Nwalor, further explained that  the workshop was a necessary follow-up to the infusion of TIP issues into the curricula of basic and secondary schools in Nigeria with a view to providing resource materials for teachers and students alike, for the roll-out of the curricula.