VSF sponsors 200,000 students, trains 1,500 teachers in North-east

Executive Director, Victims Support Fund (VSF), Dr Sunday Ochoche, has said over 200,000 school children who are victims of Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east are benefiting from the fund’s educational programme.

He said education was the biggest portfolio of VSF intervention programme, adding that the fund had done so much in providing education materials for schools and students.

Ochoche also said that training of teachers in the region was part of VSF’s effort to ensure that its educational programme succeeded.

He stated that the training of teachers was borne out of the fact that most of the teachers in the region were out of touch with their profession for a long time during the insurgency period.

“So much to do in the area of education and what we did again was to very early recognize that this is a major challenge and so we came in to support the victims with every education material that they required.

“Today we have about 200,000 children on our education programme to whom we have provided all the books that they require, all the writing materials, the school bags, the sandals they need to wear to school.

“In addition, we also realised that the teachers need support and so we started a teacher refresher training programme. Remember that schools in many of these places have been closed for many years.

“Ordinarily, the educational level and quality in this area might not be the same and now you have a situation where schools have been closed for many years and teachers have not practiced their trades for so long.

“For many of us we know that for many professions, if you don’t practice regularly, your skill will begin to get rusty.

“So far, we have retrained 1,500 teachers to be able to return with better understanding and perspective of their teaching not just the regular teaching.

“We also now inculcate or add to what they need to know some basic element of psychosocial support to these children who have suffered trauma.

“A teacher should not just now teach ABCDs and 123s but also able to provide some basic psychosocial support to the children that he or she is teaching,’’ he said. (NAN)

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