Global Initiative for Development, Care of Women and Youths (GIDCOWAY) has launched a robust campaign to champion the integration of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Prevention studies into the school curriculum across Enugu state and Nigeria as a whole.
At a recent one-day ‘Train the Trainers Workshop’ organized by GIDCOWAY and supported by WILPF Nigeria, and Saferworld held in Enugu state, Nigeria, Ngozi Eboh, the Executive Director of GIDCOWAY, voiced their unwavering commitment to significantly reduce Gender-Based Violence within the school environment.
Eboh while speaking on the workshop’s primary objective, which is to train individuals who will subsequently become advocates for the eradication of Gender-Based Violence in their respective schools explained, “Today, we are holding a workshop for school functionaries, principals or managers, and counselors, where we establish functional GBV Prevention Clubs.”
She made it clear that GIDCOWAY had already set-up GBV PREVENTION Clubs in some Schools in Enugu state from where the participants in the one day “Train the Trainers Workshop” were drawn.
“The major objective of the workshop is to further strengthen the Capacity of School Functionaries, Principals and School Counsellors within the Schools where we have set up the GBV clubs to prevent and respond to GBV” she added.
The ultimate goal is to create a safe school environment where students feel comfortable opening up, especially when they are experiencing any form of violence. Eboh stressed the critical importance of this, saying, “If students can’t confide in people within their schools environment, it becomes a societal issue. If they can’t share their problems at home and can’t speak to anyone at school, we are heading toward a disaster as a society.”
Furthermore, GIDCOWAY is currently advocating for the inclusion of Gender-Based Violence prevention in the secondary school curriculum of Enugu State. They have submitted their proposal to the Ministry of Gender Affairs and Social Development, which has subsequently forwarded it to the Executive Governor of Enugu state, Dr. Peter Mbah. Eboh expressed optimism about the curriculum review process, stating that GBV prevention studies are likely to be incorporated across the board in schools.
Among the principals of the participating secondary schools, Ijeoma Fidelia Okpe, the Principal of Trans Ekulu Girls Secondary School, conveyed her optimism about GIDCOWAY’s vision and its advocacy for GBV prevention studies within Enugu state. She also emphasized the commitment of all principals in attendance, counselors, and school functionaries to return home and train those who can help advance the quest to eliminate Gender-Based Violence in their respective schools.
Senior Prefect Anike Samuel of National Grammar School expressed gratitude for the training on GBV prevention provided by GIDCOWAY. He highlighted the importance of effective communication and listening between school authorities and students as a crucial step toward creating a healthier school environment.
The one-day workshop, as reported by News Center Nigeria, included in-depth lectures on GBV prevention by GIDCOWAY’s Executive Director, Ngozi Eboh, interactive sessions, and group activities in which school principals, managers, counselors, and functionaries exchanged ideas on GBV prevention.