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UN, EU train 150 to check domestic violence in Cross River

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In an effort to end violence against women and girls in Cross River, the European Union and United Nations Spotlight Initiative has trained 150 facilitators to teach adult learners in the state.

The two international bodies are in collaboration with the Cross River State Agency for Mass Education and Grassroots Entrepreneurship Skills Acquisition Initiative (GESA) to implement the EU/UN Spotlight Initiative under Activity 4.2.17 of the programme.

The coordinator of GESA, Deacon Ekpeyong Efiong, said the training was to revive the adult education system and deploy it effectively as a tool to contain the menace in the South-South state.

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Speaking at the weekend during the one-day training of facilitators from Akamkpa, Calabar South and Calabar Municipality council areas in Calabar, Efiong explained that the 150 lucky persons were drawn from the central, south and northern parts of the state to teach adults non-formal education.

He said: “In terms of this project, we are trying to use it to see how we can reduce the violence against women and girls, initiated by EU/UN Spotlight Initiative. We want to see how we can use this means to reduce or stop women from being violated because if you inform the adults, you are passing on the knowledge to the children and the children too will grow up to understand that, ‘ I must respect the woman’.

“But when you don’t inform the adult, most especially the once beating their wives, raping women and girls, it will be difficult for them to pass that knowledge to their children. So, it is a very important project that we must carry out.”

The coordinator noted that the move was to reactivate some of the centres owned by government but abandoned.

He added: “As we are talking, enrolment has begun and we are supposed to commence teaching on March 16. So, I think between 10th and 14th of this month, we should be submitting the best list to them in Abuja so that their materials can be sent down for us to distribute to the different centres across the state.

“And again, we are to train the facilitators on how to teach the adult learners to be better people for the society and themselves. Most of them were already involved in adult and non-formal education training and that was when they were with the government. So, what we are trying to do now, is to reactivate some of those dead centres and for the ones that are already running, we want to see how we can help them.

“That is why we have brought in the facilitators. We are training both the fresh and the old hands.

“Basically, some of them need to be refreshed and some that are new need also to be brought on board to understand how an adult learner is, how to teach them and the style to use.”

Efiong further said: “There is a difference between formal and non-formal education. So, what we are doing is to show them the non-formal way of teaching people that have left school for a long time or haven’t been in school at all. So, it is important that they have this training so that all our efforts in creating these centres will not be in vain.”

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