By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
The North East Development Commission, NEDC in collaboration with the Borno State Government on Thursday organized workshops on sports competition for thousands of youths drawn from 11 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, those in liberated communities and 300 basic education teachers to create unity, heal trauma and enhance literacy in Borno state.
The training which are in two categories took place separately at Multi-Purpose Hall, Government House and Conference Hall, Kashim Ibrahim College of Education in Maiduguri.
Governor Babagana Zulum, represented by his deputy, Hon Umar Kadafur while declaring the 3-Day Workshop/Sports Competition for IDPs/Youths commended NEDC for its support in the ongoing stabilization process as peace gradually returns.
He said, “Sports help in the mental and physical health of an individual, as well as serve as a unifying factor for millions of IDPs who were traumatized by the 12-year atrocities posed by Boko Haram sect.
“Therefore, this workshop is timely in addressing psychological consequences amongst our IDPs and those in the host communities.”
In his keynote address, the Managing Director, NEDC, Alh. Mohammed Goni Alkali said, “the North East Region has been ravaged by a decade of Boko Haram insurgency with its devastating effects which include human displacement and the disruption of social activities such as sports.
“This sad reality of our dear Region led to trauma, fatigue, stress, and tension among our people. which must be squarely tackled to secure the well-being of our future generation and sport and sporting activities are central to this.
“As we all know, trauma, fatigue, stress and tension are not the best companions of mankind. They are killers of peoples’ ambition and destiny. Hence, our commitment to promoting sports is not only for its capacity in uniting the people but also in improving the mental health and skills of the people in different endeavours.
“Therefore, sport play important role in the facilitation of social cohesion, reintegration, and empowerment of the IDP youths when resettled in their respective communities. In addition to this, its poster and promote a shared sense of belonging among the participants and spectators. The combination of sport and developmental programmes would address varieties of needs such as Peace Building, Conflict Resolution and Social inclusion of vulnerable groups.
“It’s on these notes that the Commission is organising the sports tournament to mitigate the dysfunctional consequences of such vices among the teeming IDPs youths in the State. The tournament will feature various games which include Football, Volleyball, Badminton and other athletics like field and track events.
“The Games Master’s workshop will enhance the skills of the Coaches by exposing them to modern ways of handling games.
“At the end of the competition, Trophies and Medals will be given out to deserving teams, and also start-up kits will be provided for each participating team to consolidate the replication of gains of the competition in their respective communities when resettled.
“The Commission would encourage the talents discovered at the event by linking them to Sports Academies and other Professional Bodies to pursue careers as sports men and women,” Alkali said.
In a related development, the NEDC MD while presenting his remarks at the opening ceremony for the training of 300 teachers which took place at Sir Kashim Ibrahim College of Education said, education is critical to the complete recovery of the North East in the long term.
And to achieve this requires that the Commission will continue to invest in critical educational infrastructure and programs with much-anticipated impact.
His words: “Education is critical to the complete recovery of the North East, and to achieve this requires that the Commission continue to invest in critical educational infrastructure and programs with much-anticipated impact.
“These include rehabilitation & reconstruction of destroyed schools, teachers capacity building and other interventions that are capable of reversing all the negative indices associated with education in the North East.
“The state of education in the North East (NE) region has been in regression even before the insurgency and has declined further following the Boko Haram attacks on educational infrastructure in the region.
“Over 2,295 teachers have been killed and 19,000 others displaced in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in the last eleven years. An estimated 1,500 schools have been destroyed since 2014, with over 1,280 casualties among teachers and students.
“The crisis has further devastated the education system as children, teachers and schools were on the front line of conflict.
“The consequences of attacks on education include high student drop-out rates, reduced enrollment, lower rates of transition to higher education levels, overcrowding, and loss of instructional hours.
“Adolescent girls and boys are at higher risk of joining armed groups or criminal gangs and levels of exploitation and abuse, including trafficking and sexual violence also increase. As a matter of fact, the North East Region has the lowest literacy rates as well as poorest performance in examinations.
“The activities under the Commission’s Education Revitalization Programme such as teachers training and education support are a few of such creative efforts that aspire to reverse the negatives that are associated with the education sub-sector in the North East as highlighted above.
“Under the first phase of its Teachers’ Capacity Building Programme, the Commission plans to train over 1500 teachers starting with 300 in Borno State and subsequently in the other five states of the region.
“The training is for a duration of 5 days and the venues are Maiduguri and Biu. We have two hundred teachers here from Borno Central and Borno North. The training for the 100 teachers representing Borno South shall hold from the 15th to 19th of this month at Biu Central Primary School.
“The teachers training aims to boost teachers’ capacity in pedagogy, safety and trauma counselling skills amongst others. The training aims to ensure that teachers would learn to improve their educational skills, improve overall organization, time management, technical knowledge and learn better ways to motivate the students through the provision of psychosocial support.
“The purpose of this intervention is not only to reverse the negative performance of the education sub-sector in the region before the insurgency but to also invest in the future of our children as well as professional growth of our teachers,” Alkali said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the convener and
Chairman Limo Holdings, Dr Lawan Bukar, said, 200 Basic Education Primary and junior secondary school teachers from Borno North and Central would benefit from the exercise, while 100 others from Southern Senatorial District will also have their training in Biu Local Government Area.
He said, the training will focus mainly on Psychosocial support, teaching methodology, lessons plan, Evaluation, records keeping, Core subjects such as English, Mathematics, basic science and classroom management.
Governor Zulum who was represented by Commissioner of Education, Eng. Lawal Wakilbe commended NEDC for organizing such training and urged the participants to utilize the opportunity to improve on the educational system in the state.