By Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
As part of efforts to address the psychological trauma experienced by teachers affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east, the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative (PCNI) has begun the training of about 3,100 teachers in the zone to control the trauma and enhance teaching in schools across the six states that make up the region.
The five-day workshop, which is organised in conjunction with the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, is meant to strengthen the capacity of UBE teachers in teaching techniques, safety and security measures in the school environment and trauma counselling.
Declaring the training open for Bauchi State second batch UBE teachers at the ATBU, Bauchi Tuesday, the Chairman of the Committee, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, said the training would expose teachers to new techniques of teaching and security tips on schools protection.
Represented by Prof. Hauwa Biu, Chairperson, Education Committee of PCNI, Gen. Danjuma also explained that the training was designed to enhance the capacity of the teachers to support parents and pupils affected by the insurgency.
According to him, “The North-east is lagging behind in all facets of human development and advancement, and this sad reality of our dear region has been attributed to several factors, prominent among which is mass failure of students who are to transit to higher institution of learning.
“Another challenge that evolved with Boko Haram insurgency which must be tackled to secure the future of our children are trauma and insecurity in schools. These three issues — poor quality of teachers, trauma counselling and security of our schools — are what the training is to tackle and they also guide the development of the training modules.”
He stated further: “Nigeria is advancing in all facets under the dynamic leadership of President Muhammad Buhari, and as a region, we can only participate when we have the requisite manpower and skills. The requisite skills can only come about when we have the right teachers that will groom and guide our children.
“This workshop came up because of the issue of Boko Haram. Due to the problem that we have encountered in the school system, Boko Haram killed many of the teachers, many students were abducted, and many schools were destroyed.
“We feel the need to empower the teachers both psychologically and intellectually for them to know what they should do to address future occurrence of this nature. Here we have another 300 participants drawn from the 20 local government areas of Bauchi State, and we hope each of them will go back to their respective schools, local government areas and teach others who were not opportune to be here, so that everybody could benefit from the outcome of the workshop.”
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, ATBU, Bauchi, Prof. Saminu Ibrahim Abdulrahman, commended President Buhari for the establishment of PCNI as a national strategic framework for the coordination of all interventions to the North-east and educational revitalisation.
While stating that security challenges were not peculiar to Nigeria alone, he however stressed that “we need to be ready to tackle the challenges of Boko Haram”.
He urged the participants “not only to listen to the discussions but to participate fully and contribute as you stand to gain a lot from the training on issues of capacity building, new methodology as well as trauma and security issues”.