The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Prof. Chijioke Okwelle, has said the reviewed curriculum introducing Family Life and Emerging Health Issues (FLEHI) and Family Life HIV/AIDS Education (FLHE) as general studies courses in all NCE-awarding institutions is in response to reducing HIV infections and mitigating the impacts of other health issues in the country.
He was speaking at a capacity-building workshop organised in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for teacher-educators involved in imparting knowledge on FLEHI and FLHE to students, in Abuja.
Prof. Okwelle noted that the curriculum would help achieve the task at schools, having been reviewed with relevant new things incorporated, and outdated knowledge and concepts removed.
Represented by NCCE’s Director of ICT, Mr Pius Ekireghwo, the executive secretary stressed the need to improve the capacity of teachers, acquaint them with improved skills and approaches to teach students how to avoid unhealthy reproductive engagements and family life that could aid the spread of HIV and other STIs.
“In 2019, the NCCE with the support of UNESCO trained 100 teachers on FLEHI/FLHE. In 2021, 335 pre-service and in-service teachers were trained by the NCCE in collaboration with UNESCO and Spotlight Initiative.
“Again, this year, with the support of UNESCO and 03 (Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future) the NCCE has trained 100 teachers on FLEHI/FLHE,” he said.
He said since the introduction of the course, NCCE has trained teacher-educators on the best and most effective ways of facilitating the course, notably, the concepts of Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW), Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Harmful Practices (HP) and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).
He further said: “These are all embedded in the 2020 reviewed FLEHI (GSE 124) Minimum Standard of NCCE meant for the training of pre-service teachers for the basic education level in Nigeria.
“The GSE 124 is a compulsory course for all students in all NCE-awarding institutions in Nigeria,” he added.
He expressed confidence in the ability of the resource persons to strengthen the capacity of in-service educators on the delivery of the curriculum and build the capacity of teachers for the coordination of ARH and HIV/AIDS-related activities within their institutions and host communities, among others.
He said at the end of the training programme, 100 in-service teachers that participated in the programme would effectively implement FLEHI/FLHE in their respective schools, and hopefully, NCE graduates would effectively implement FLHE and curricula covering EVAW/SGBV/HP/SRHR at the basic education level.
“Your creativity will be challenged as you will be compelled to improvise where there is a dearth of relevant tools and materials to deliver the course,” he said.