By Okeoghene Oghenekaro
Abuja – No fewer than 481 teachers across the six geo-political zones of the country are to benefit from the Nigeria Teachers Institute (NTI) Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SENDs) and HIV/AIDS Awareness training.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the three-day workshop was organised by the institute in collaboration with Axiom Learning Solutions Limited funded under the Sustainable Development Goals Project.
In his address, Prof Garba Azare, NTI Director General, said that the institute had trained 1,548 teachers on SENDs and 3,096 on HIV/AIDS in 2011 and 2012.
He said that the number of participants dropped this year because the Federal Government approved only about 40 per cent of the training budget.
Azare said that the workshop would train master trainers on the educational needs of people living with disability.
‘’This is a train-the-trainers workshop in which the master trainers will step down the training to other teachers in their respective schools.
“It is expected that each master trainer will train at least five teachers from either his or her school or within the neighbourhood of their respective schools.
“In this way, a sizeable number of teachers will benefit from the workshop.’’
Azare urged the States Universal Basic Education Boards to sponsor the step-down training for teachers in their respective states to allow more teachers benefit from the training.
“This is in tune with the UN aspiration as captured in the Sustainable Development Goal No. 4 which seeks to ensue inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.’’
The Director General said that the goal provided for inclusiveness and equality of opportunities for all categories of learners irrespective of their physical and mental abilities.
Prof. Anthony Anwukah, Minister of State for Education and Chairman of the occasion, said the workshop would strengthen the teacher’s competences in handling all categories of pupils at the grassroots level.
Anwukah, who was represented by the Hon. Frank Ibezim, said that the workshop would also create a climate that encouraged fairness, positive social interactions, active learning and self-motivation.
“Specially, the workshop is to train and increase the skills of teachers to be able to train people with special needs by a variety of differentiated instructional methods and best practices.
“This will stimulate effective lesson delivery to pupils with special needs.
“Also in the area of HIV/AIDS, one of the aims of the workshop is to develop inter-faith based curriculum for training morality in combating the menace of HIV/AIDS in our society.’’
Anwukah urged the participants to demonstrate a high level of interest and enthusiasm in the workshop through constructive and meaningful engagement with the facilitators.