Nigerian Academy of Science advocates family life health education in schools
The Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) in its bid to focus on the issues of Youths Social Development (YSD) and Reproductive Heath (RH) has beckoned on the media to lead the awareness campaign on sexuality education, reproductive health, and Family Life Health Education (FLHE) curriculum for schools.
The Academy, disturbed about issues relating to YSD, commissioned a project focused on addressing gaps in YSD and HR in Nasarawa and Ekiti as pilot states, which also, adapts the FLHE. The project was designed to stimulate the state governments to seek ways to improve the wellbeing in Nigeria.
The project lead, Prof. Akinyinka Omigbodun in his remark said that the importance of devoting resources towards ensuring that the young people acquire the requisite skills for navigating life’s challenges and living a healthy life in adulthood cannot be overstated.
He said that enough is not being done to meet the educational and healthcare needs of the youths in virtually all parts of the country and it is not because of lack of policy but as a result of its implementations.
Omigbodun pointed out that the future of the entire nation is at risk as structures and programmes may have been planned for youth empowerment and development, that it appears that they have not reached the average Nigerian youth whose life they are meant to impact.
The professor continued: “In an attempt to bridge the gap between policy and implementation, a project titled ‘mobilising official support for developing, implementing and sustaining livelihood and life skills development among the youth’ was undertaken in Ekiti and Nasarawa states by the NAC with the support of Ford Foundation. This was undertaken with the collaboration of stakeholders from the state ministries responsible for education, science and technology, youth development, finance, health and women affairs and the evidence obtained from the exercise is being deployed under ‘addressing gaps in youth social development and reproductive health in Nasarawa State Nigeria’ to propel government and stakeholders actions.”
The keynote speaker Mrs. Adenike Esiet said that eight to ten per cent of the teenagers have been initiated into sexual intercourse and sexual encounters and that most of the human immune-deficiency virus (HIV) infection occurs mainly to people below the age of25, which many are due to abuse and also unplanned pregnancies.
Esiet said that the FLHE was approved by the 49th section of the National Council on Education in 2002, as the education sector is key response to preventing and mitigating the impact.
She said that the challenges coming with adolescent are not asexual, that sexual expressions are normative part of development and that societal norms that seek to control young people sexuality often have a negative impact on their physical and emotional well being. The denial of adolescent sexuality and the attendant’s unwillingness to provide education and non-judgmental guidance, continues to place adolescents especially girls at more risk.
President NAS, Prof. Mosto Onuoha, in his speech said that the academy would get involved in so many things to see that the gains of science and technology is translated to Nigerians.
He lamented that the people on the streets do not know anything and it is left for them to relate it to them.
Onuoha also said that the academy is ready to partner with anybody so that the gains and information will be available to everyone