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UNESCO partners FCT to provide appropriate information to adolescents

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The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the FCT Education Secretariat is in partnership to provide appropriate sexual and reproductive health information to curb HIV, unintended pregnancies among adolescents.

Mr Mamadou Lamine-Sow, the Programme Specialist and Head of Education Sector, UNESCO Regional Office, Abuja, said during an orientation session for School-Based Management Committees (SBMCs) and Parents-Teachers Association (PTAs) on Family Life HIV Education in Abuja on Tuesday that age-appropriate information was essential to improving wellbeing.

Lamine-Sow said the session was made possible by Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future (O3) Programme to strengthen and support the delivery of quality Family Life HIV Education (FLHE) that would empower adolescents and young people.

He added that “we all know how important Nigeria’s FLHE is in preparing young people for a safe, productive, fulfilling life in a world where HIV and AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies, gender-based violence and gender inequality still pose serious risks
to their well-being.”

He, therefore, urged parents, SBMCs to understand, support, and be involved in the
delivery of FLHE by providing children with factual information and equipping them with necessary life skills to enable them to navigate through life challenges.

He noted that “these would develop their competencies and confidence to engage their children and
wards inaccurate and non-judgmental conversations on sexual reproductive health needs.

“It will support teachers in the delivery of FLHE at the classroom level; and – to ensure that schools and community environments are free of gender-based violence, safe, healthy and inclusive for all learners.”

The National Programme Officer, UNESCO, Ms Ngozi Amanze, said “FLHE plays a central role in the preparation of young people for a safe, productive, fulfilling life in a world where HIV and AIDS, STI, unintended pregnancies, GBV still pose serious risks to their wellbeing.

“We all know that school settings provide important opportunities to reach large numbers of young people with comprehensive information on sexual and reproductive health before they become active.

“It also provides a safe and supportive learning environment, tools and materials necessary to deliver high-
quality life skills training to young people.”

According to her, 150 members of the PTA and SBMCs will participate in the orientation session.

Mr Solomon Johnson, representing the FCT-Education Secretariat, said the orientation session would equip parents, teachers and SBMC on FLHE, aimed at reducing incidences of unplanned pregnancies and STDs.

Johnson, therefore, urged parents to play a fundamental role in providing quality Sexual and Reproductive Health education to their children for long-term results.

Similarly, Dr Lydia Giginna, the Director, Education Support Services, Federal Ministry of Education, represented by Mrs Eucharia Chime, stressed the need for more efforts to equip adolescents with skills to improve health and wellbeing.

Also, Mr Adebayo James, representing SBMC in the FCT, commended the organisers of the orientation session, which he said would expose participants to FLHE.

Mr Umar Zubairu, representing PTA, FCT, urged the organisers to make the training a continuous process, as well as cascade it to others. (NAN)

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