Value Re-Orientation: NOA to Establish Citizens’ Brigade in Schools

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

As part of efforts to address the problems affecting Nigerian children and youths, the federal government has mulled an initiative that would promote good value system in schools across the country.

The government also said it was the process of developing a national policy on parenting to help address various societal malaise including insecurity, broken marriages, lack of adherence to our national values and ethics.

Speaking yesterday, at the multi-stakeholders’ workshop on parenting programmes in Nigeria supported by Parenting For Life Long Health and Global Parenting Initiative, University of Oxford held in Abuja, the Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mallam Lanre Issa-onilu, said the agency was in the process of establishing Citizens Brigades in Secondary and Primary schools.

He also said the agency was interfacing with producers of carton films and media organisations to ensure that the content of carton programmes reflect some of our core national values.

“As I speak with you, we have already commenced the process of curating the type of local contents that our children should be watching which should be reflective of our national values.

“In addition, the NOA is in the process of establishing Citizens Brigades in Secondary and Primary schools.

“The plan in the short term, is to establish 1000 per state in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) making 37,000 citizens brigades promoting the contents of the National Values Chatter in the first instance,” he said.

The DG explained that the core purpose of the initiative “was to familiarise our children from their formative stage with the promises that Nigeria is making to them and the commitments that they in turn owe to the country and their fellow citizens.

“In this way, we intend to develop children who are values-conscious. Our advocacy on the National Values Chatter emphasises the centrality of responsible parenting.

“It is intended that the contents of the National Values Chatter will form part of our schools’ curriculum throughout the period of schooling from primary to tertiary level.”

Issa-onilu said the NOÀ has decided to re-evaluate its strategies for carrying out its programmes and campaigns, adding that it has identified seven thematic areas of intervention with the acronym CLHEEAN (Crime, Lawlessness, Health, Education, Environment, Abuse and Narcotics).

According to him, the CLHEEAN project is a community centred project deliberately intended to address these challenges with the intent to collaborate closely with local partners and international agencies to initiate impactful solutions that will improve on the quality of parenting.

“This is aimed at ultimately creating synergy for partnership with different relevant organisations to chat a way forward for more effective re-orientation of the citizens,” he said

The Workshop titled, “Parenting Programmes in Nigeria: Key findings and recommendations,”

was jointly organised by Parenting for Lifelong Health, Global Parenting Initiative at the University of Oxford, with funding through the Global Partnership to end violence from the government of Japan

Speaking on the outcome of the Workshop,  Head of Advocacy Global Parenting Initiative, Dr. Isang Awah, said stakeholders have agreed that formulating a comprehensive policy on parenting has become an imperative.

She said:  “Decisions regarding its formulation and timing are pivotal aspects to consider, issues like which ministry is going to be in the development of this policy and that is what we are looking at between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Women Affairs and I believe that they will be working together collaboratively with other stakeholders to develop this policy on parenting.”

She said NOA has expressed unwavering enthusiasm for facilitating the creation and execution of this pivotal policy.

“It is paramount for ministries and federal agencies to synergise with implementers to effectively roll out interventions leveraging existing infrastructure.

“For instance, the Federal Ministry of Health is implementing an ongoing service delivery programmes in rural communities and this presents a prime opportunity for integrating parenting programs, underscoring the significance of mainstreaming this initiative across diverse ministries and agencies.”

In her remarks, the Director Content Development of the University of Oxford, Dr. Jenny Doubt, commended the organisers for pushing a national policy on parenting which she said will help in restoring good values and better orientation in children and youths.

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