National Workshop - Ibadan Social and Evaluation Research Team
The ISERT hosted a national dissemination workshop and stakeholder engagement on the state of implementation of the FLHE curricula in Nigeria on 22nd March 2017. This was done in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Education. Compered by Dr. Rasheed Okunola of the Sociology Department, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, participants to the workshop included:
- The Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Education
- Prof. Olayinka Idowu, The Vice Chancellor University of Ibadan, Nigeria
- Representatives of Donor Agencies
- Representatives of NGOs
- National President of ANCOPSS
- ANCOPSS Representatives from Kaduna State and the FCT
- Media Delegates
- ISERT Fellows
In his Keynote address, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Idowu Olayinka apprised the participants of the extent of activities already undertaken on FLHE by The University of Ibadan through ISERT. These included the ISERT I and ISERT II that comprised of advocacy visits to governments at all levels and to traditional leaders; development of different components of IEC materials for effective FLHE delivery; development of guidelines on best practices on improving FLHE classroom delivery in Nigeria, guideline on best practices on improving training of FLHE teachers in Nigeria, guidelines on best practices on improving supervision of FLHE by school administrators in Nigeria and manual for establishing youth friendly centers in Nigeria. Other activities undertook by ISERT included stakeholders’ meetings in the six geo-political zones in the country. These activities culminated to a national workshop for which all were gathered for deliberations on the future of FLHE in Nigeria. So far, participants in ISERT activities comprised of Ministry of Education officials, including FLHE Desk Officers, representatives of the All Nigerian Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), NGOs, and Operators of Youth Friendly Centres. Over the period of its current project, according to the Vice Chancellor, ISERT has interacted with critical stakeholders in the Nigerian educational sector: Federal and State Ministries of Education, ANCOPSS, National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA), State Agency for Control of AIDS (SACAs), National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), International Development Partners, and Local and International NGOs among others. ISERT also visited and obtained the cooperation of Traditional Leaders, and members of State Legislatures across the country. Mr. Vice Chancellor buttressed that in line with the University of Ibadan passion for excellence, all the materials developed by ISERT were subjected to rigorous pre-test and end-users’ evaluations to determine its usefulness. Similarly, the cultural relevance, local acceptability and end user satisfaction of the materials were carefully assessed during the zonal workshops. Several stakeholders made critical inputs on those materials. Mr. Vice Chancellor in this same address, intimated the audience of the impacts of ISERT activities. He specifically cited the case of a participant at the North-Central Zonal workshop (held between 26-27 September 2016) that has already established a youth friendly clinic in Jos, Plateau State. In Ondo State, another participant repeatedly requested for permission to reproduce and distribute the draft materials. He enjoined all present to take advantage of these materials, which will be mass produced and distributed across the country in collaboration with relevant groups and agencies, to improve the lives of our youths.
Owing to the objectives of the workshop in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education, he said that it is expected that the carefully selected but critical stakeholders at the event not only give approval for the use of the materials but also take a final look at the materials and decide on how to utilise them after which they will be mass produced and disseminated at no cost to the end-users. In concluding his address, Prof. Olayinka expressed his anticipation that the materials will have lasting impacts and serve as templates in Nigeria and in the African continent. He thanked all the stakeholders who, in one way or another, directly or indirectly, contributed to the project, especially the Federal Ministry of Education, whose collaboration and guidance is unquantifiable, and to the Ford Foundation for their financial support.
Addressing the participants, the Federal Ministry of Education expressed their delight in being part of the stakeholders’ dissemination workshop on FLHE. According to the Federal Ministry represented by Mrs. Otaru:
“FLHE is a Federal Ministry of Education long time strategy in addressing HIV epidemic among young adolescents in Nigeria by inculcating age appropriate and gender sensitive reproductive health information and life skills. FLHE topics were infused in basic and senior secondary subjects’ curricula and the Colleges of Education general studies curricula. The Ministry of Education has been operating this laudable school projects since 2002 to promote adolescents’ sexuality education. However, this has not been without some challenges. The adolescent age is the age of inquisitiveness especially for sexual information due to hormonal changes in the body and the emerging new media technology that glamourizes sexuality issues which further complicate matters. The freedom to access information through the internet has placed young adolescents in a very vulnerable situation that was never imagined during the emergence and adoption of FLHE in 2002. Therefore, the ISERT seeing the importance of this FLHE is living up to its mandate by complementing the efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Education in adding values to the implementation process. Consequently, as we all know, research involves systematic investigation and when the academics are objectively involved, there is need to use their findings to compliment the status quo for the sustainability of FLHE”.
The ANCOPSS National President, Principal Anslem I. commended ISERT for their efforts towards scaling up the implementation of FLHE Curricula in Nigeria. He also recognized how important it is to start from schools as ISERT rightly did. This project, according to him, is a hallmark for development and health improvement of our youths who are at the receiving end of bad lifestyles such as drug abuse, health problems such as HIV, etc. He assured ISERT of the willingness of schools and principals to support them to any level needed.
The Federal Ministry of Education (FMOE) addressed “The Journey of Family Life HIV&AIDS Education Curriculum Implementation in Schools”. In this, they enunciated the 3 prong methodological approach – Curricula FLHE, Co-curricular peer education and community awareness. They identified the critical mass in FLHE as
- All FME Parastatals
- NCCE-Colleges of Education
- SMoEs-All the states Ministries of Education Desk Officers plus the FCT
- Other line Ministries
- Development Partners and non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
- Other stakeholders.
In all, they emphasized that it is the duty of the Federal Ministry of Education to co-ordinate and monitor the implementation process in collaboration with members of the critical mass through quarterly critical mass meetings, capacity building and meeting reports. On improvements in FLHE, “Currently, FLHE is no longer a mandate of two or three teachers in schools but the concern of all in school”, said the Federal Ministry of Education. Other improvements mentioned were:
- Step down orientation for teachers in schools.
- Whole school implementation as a routine school activity.
- Central Delivery of Assembly Talks/Community awareness/Peer Education Plus (Assembly Talk to be accompanied by anti- AIDS songs) organized by the Principals/Vice principals.
- Documentation (M&E) of FLHE domiciled in the vice- Principal Academics office like other routine school records.
The FMOE wrapped up their address by stating that with the availability of the ISERT materials, it is believed that something much more significant will take place henceforth.
There was a joint agreement that the ISERT documents are adequate to be used to ensure effective delivery of FLHE in Nigerian schools. The ANCOPSS were positive that the purpose of the workshop was achieved. They reinstated their commitment to support ISERT in ensuring that the essence of the workshop will be achieved and implemented down to school level. The Federal Ministry of Education on their own part expressed their willingness and buy-in. The Vice Chancellor thanked the Federal Ministry of Education and Ford Foundation for supporting the project. He also thanked the participants for their active participation and encouraged all to spread the good news of FLHE in their various sphere of influence to ensure its sustainability. He called on all to continue to identify with ISERT even after the workshop and come up with more meaningful suggestions, if any. Participants were thereafter issued with certificate of participation by the Vice Chancellor, as was the case in the zonal workshops.