By Justina Auta
The Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) says it will include Gender Based Violence (GBV) and sexual reproductive health rights in its Family Life and HIV/AIDS Education (FLHE) curriculum.
Its Executive Secretary, Prof. Ismail Junaidu, disclosed this during a planning and writing workshop for the review of FLHE curriculum in Mararaba Nasarawa State.
The theme of the workshop is “Concept Planning and Writing Workshop for the Review of Family Life & HIV/AIDS Education Curriculum in Nigeria.’’
Junaidu, represented by the Director, Special Programmes of NERDC, Dr David Omole, said that the move was in collaboration with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and other key stakeholders.
He said that the existing FLHE curriculum for basic education was developed in 2003, hence the need to include current trends in line with global practices that would capture prevailing issues affecting the society.
He added that “going by the current trend in Nigeria, there are many emerging issues that need to be addressed in the FLHE curriculum. There is also the need to adjust some existing contents and concepts to reflect the present situation in our society.
“The family life and HIV/AIDS Education is very central and invaluable in sharpening and helping to checkmate the scourge of HIV/AIDS, violence against women and girls, rape and child-marriage and other socio-cultural practices that affect the wellbeing of women and girls.”
He, therefore, urged the participants to evolve modalities for the review of the curriculum, select topics and contents that would be used for the exercise, and write the curriculum based on the selected topics.
“Your presence is to make constructive contributions that will improve and enrich the curriculum so that our children will be conscious of their sexuality, HIV/AIDS and sexual reproductive health rights through the instrumentality of the revised curriculum,” he stressed.
The Spotlight Project Manager in UNESCO, Dr Steven Onyekwelu, said that the workshop was a platform to review the national basic and secondary education curriculum to include prevailing issues affecting the society.
Onyekwelu said that the review would include issues relating to ending violence against women and girls, sexual and reproductive health rights and harmful practices.
He added that “it is an activity sponsored by UNESCO under the Spotlight Initiative Project.
“UNESCO engaged NERDC that has the mandate to review the curriculum and integrate the variables that I mentioned: that is the essence of this workshop.
“The review will continue till May and after the first draft is produced, then NERDC will lead to make a presentation of the reviewed curriculum before the Joint Consultative Committee on Education.’’
“It will now be taken to the National Council on Education, where the final decision and approval will be given. ‘’
On her part, the National Programme Officer for Education, UNESCO, Ms Ngozi Amanze, said the review of the FLHE was necessary as it was obsolete and did not capture global trends affecting the society.
Amanze said “FLHE is all about educating adolescents and young people, so we are reviewing those things that are missing as you know the world keeps evolving and there are many things that are not in the curriculum.
“We do not have female genital mutilation, which is part of gender based violence, we do not have school-related gender based violence, all these things, child marriage these are things that we have to integrate in the curriculum.’’
She explained further that after the curriculum review, teachers would also be trained to end all forms of violence and harmful practices affecting the health status of the nation.
“FLHE is not something that you implement only at the school level, it involves everybody, the community leaders, religious and traditional leaders and parents.
“It addresses some socio-cultural negativity, harmful practices and build skills, competence to empower them in making informed decisions and consequences of their action,” she said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that participants at the workshop include representatives of Federal Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, NACA, NERDC and other stakeholders. (NAN)