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Group reviews manual to build adolescents life skills capacities


By Chijioke Kingsley

Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Adolescents Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE), a World Bank funded Project Plateau has reviewed safe space training manual in order to build adolescents life skills capacities.

AGILE Director, Mrs Aisha Dadi said that the efforts were to equip adolescents with requisite knowledge to face the challenges of life.

Dadi stated the intention was to help them to focus and not deviate from the goal and objective that they intend to achieve in life.

She said that the target may not be achieved without a training manual, a form of a curriculum or training manual on how to teach the adolescents each topic.

The director pointed out that to get a comprehensive training manual, AGILE brought together stakeholders across various ministries, departments and civil society organisations to review what Society for Family Health (SFH) has put together.

“The manual has four modules; Life skill, Health and Nutrition, climate change and Gender Based Violence (GBV) and we’re reviewing all the contents of the four modules.

“We want the modules to pass through the crucible of the stakeholders in the state that we can say that as Plateau, we have a manual that we are going to be using to build the capacities of in-school student of secondary schools.

“We’re going to be doing a training for the master trainers, the master trainers will use this document to step down to the facilitators who are the guidance counselors and female teachers in the schools.

“The guidance counselor or female teacher will in turn, step down this information to the children who are adolescent girls in schools,” she explained,” she emphasised.

Dadi listed the stakeholders reviewing manual to include; permanent secretaries, directors, deputy directors and other staff from ministries of Education, Health, Women Affairs, Youth and Sports, Environment Finance and Civil Society organizations (CSOs) in the State.

According to her, religious and traditional leaders were also available to look at the religious context of what was produced and how acceptable it would be under religious and traditional customs of the people.

She pointed out that AGILE would produce content that will be religiously and culturally acceptable in the State.

Mr Benjamin Gotan, Permanent Secretary, Plateau Ministry of Health described the exercise as educative and expository.

Gotan said that the participants have acquired a lot knowledge that would help make the lives of adolescent girls better.

“There are issues that even as we go back, apart from the fact that we’re trying to develop a manual that will be useful for our families.

“It has also exposed some things for us who have adolescent people in our homes that there are things that we were doing wrong, that we need to change”.

The permanent secretary thanked the World Bank, and Plateau Government for keying into the project by paying their own counterpart funding for the programme.

AGILE Life Skill Lead in Plateau, Mrs Dinatu Dasat said that for the first phase, they were selecting 125 public schools in the 17 local governments of Plateau to participate.

Dasat said that the initiative became imperative because there was drop in the population of enrollment of girls in the secondary schools.

The team lead said that the 609 schools have been given grants to provide Water and Sanitation (WASH) facilities to make the schools comfortable for girls in terms of hygiene.

“The girls will now know how to take care of themselves during menstruation to keep themselves clean, and to use pads that are appropriate.

“On nutrition, they should be able to know what to eat and the process of preparing healthy food for themselves,” she added.

Mrs Jumai Madaki, a participant at the training, said that the main reasons for AGILE was to improve enrollment, re-enroll, retain and maintain girls in schools.

Madaki said that they have during the training identified some issues that were mitigating against achieving the goals.

“So with this manual, first we’re going to work on the girl herself. If you’re confident, and what the environment is like, then you will be able to achieve your goals.

“Some girls do not go to school when they have menses, you know, so this WASH facilities will be of immense help to them,” she added.

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