By Lucky Isibor
The Chief Inspector Of Education in charge of Igueben local government area, Mr. Gabriel Orire has described teachers as nation builders.
Mr. Orire gave this description while delivering a good will message to teachers at the state executive council meeting of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT which held Thursday, at Eguare Primary School, Igueben.
The opening session of the meeting was attended by representatives of Conference of Primary School Head Masters of Nigeria,(COPSHON), All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools, (ANCOPSS), who gave good will messages on before of their association.
Also present at the opening session was a delegation of the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and the committee on sensitization of stakeholders on elimination of violence against children who were present to sensitize the teachers on the draft Edo state priority plan to end violence against children in conjunction with SMILE and ActionAid.
Orire said the importance of teachers cannot be over emphasised as the children who are the future of the nation depend on the knowledge teachers impact on them describing them as great asset to the nation.
“Teachers you know are great assets to the nation. Teachers are nation builders.”
Presenting the draft Edo state priority plan to end violence against children to the teachers, the Organizational Development Director of SMILE, Mrs. Maryaan Obidike disclosed that the end violence against children is a global campaign which started in 2014 adding that Nigeria is one of the nine pilot countries for the campaign and Edo state is one of the nine pilot states chosen for the campaign in Nigeria.
Mrs. Obidike stated that section, 260, sub section 1 and 2 of the Edo state child rights law enumerated what the child rights implementation committee should be doing.
“They are to review, they are to monitor, they are to enforce the child rights law”, she said.
She said that SMILE developed a simplified version of the child rights law and supported with 500 copies, adding that to underscore the importance of child protection the First Lady of Edo state, Mrs Betsy Obaseki supported with 10,000 copies which has been given to the Ministry of Education for distribution to schools.
In his remarks, SMILE coordinator in Edo state, Mr. Charles Durojaye said child protection in Edo state has been abysmal as there are several cases of children being sexually abused during school hours especially private schools.
“From what we have seen in the past three years we have been working here, we find out we have to manage cases of children being sexually abused during school hours especially private schools. We have cases in courts.”
Durojaye urged the teachers to make valuable suggestions and input they know will enhance child protection into the draft document.
Responding on behalf of the NUT, state secretary of the union, Comrade Imoni Mike Success Itua said the union will set up a committee to look at the draft document and make inputs if need be, otherwise they will give their concurrence and validate it within the next three weeks.