European Union-United Nations (EU-UN) Spotlight Initiative has trained over 50 teachers from primary and secondary schools in Cross River on identification reporting and referral services to pupils who are survivors of violence against children.
The 3-day Spotlight Initiative training of Calabar south, Calabar Municipal and Akamkpa primary and secondary school teachers on ending Violence Against Children (VAC) in schools, and Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) Prevention and Response services Delivery and Case Management took place at the weekend.
The training which held in Calabar with support from the Ministry of Humanity and Social Welfare also focused on positive measures to discipline children better than primitive ways that inflict injuries thereby making them emotionally imbalance to study.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Child’s Specialist, Victor Atuchukwu said teachers were targeted for the training because children spend more time with teachers than their parents nothing that teachers were strong force in identification and linkage to response services.
He said, “We are actually talking with everybody including the teachers on ways to end violence against women and girls. You will agree with me that the children spend more times with the teachers more than their parents and the teachers are also a strong force in the identification reporting and linkage to response services.
“And you can also tell that there is a lot need to be done in terms of ending violence against children in schools because we find out that corporal punishment has been normalized in our institutions inflicting injuries on children, making them emotionally loose the balance to continue to study , so it is about time, to talk about disciplinary measures more towards learning than primitive measures that inflict injuries and ending violence against children in schools and also having teachers capacity built and part of the pool of those persons who will observed something, report some and support something positive happening in the life of survivals .”
The resource person, head of programme, Girls Power Initiative (GPI), Ndodeye Bassey, explained that there are numerous child’s rights violation that are experienced within schools environment which could be prevented if teachers are equipped with the knowledge that can end violence against children.
She noted that teachers are in best position to identify the different forms and categories of abuses that children suffered and the ability to respond and prevent issues of violence against children.
The Principal Council, Basic Rights Initiative, Cross River State, James Ibor said if teachers are made to know what child protection and case management are all about and understand the provision of child right law of 2009, they will be in better position to promote the right of every child.
Ibor who is also Chairperson, Child Protection Network stated that, “the provision of the child right law if they are not funded, the budget of child protection is not released, the ministry has no impress to carry out their functions directed in the child right law and the child right act, so I use this opportunity that this knowledge and opportunity and resources which spotlight have invested training these teachers should not be a waste since they are not given opportunity to implement the law, deploy and apply the knowledge
“And this knowledge cannot be applied if they don’t have the resources to carry out their duties so it’s an opportunity for every money budgeted for the ministry to be released so that Nigeria will be able to fulfill the promise made to make Africa a place safe for the child.” He appealed.