School Civic Education Club Patrons, Patronesses, and Circuit Supervisors in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality, have attended a three-day capacity training workshop on strengthening child protection system.
The workshop, organized by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with support from UNICEF, exposed the participants to a manual entitled: ?Children Voices for Peaceful Future and Protective Environment.?
The participants were equipped with conflict resolution skills, to empower them to communicate effectively, to build and foster trust, and co-exist peacefully with schools and communities embroiled with conflicts.
They were also empowered with the necessary skills on how to evaluate culture diversity, and listen to other people?s perspectives in schools and communities, and to know how conflicts impact on the welfare of children.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Regional Director of the NCCE, , Mr Pontius P. Apaabey, noted that children in some schools and communities were constantly abused by teachers, parents and their colleagues, and that affected their education and welfare.
He cited, for instance, that there were many school children who had refused to go to school because of the abuses being meted out to them in the school environment by their teachers and colleagues, and expressed the hope that the training programme would help address the challenge.
The Regional Director impressed upon the patrons to play facilitating roles, by enacting the various sessions in the manual, which include Conflict Resolution Skills, Protection of the Environment for Children through Peaceful Coexistence, Value Diversity among Our selves, Building Confidence and Trust, Psycho Social Activity and Psycho Social Support Activity among others, at the school and the community levels.
Mr Apaabey told the participants that they stood to benefit more if they applied the knowledge acquired at their various unions
He said that the Commission in collaboration with UNICEF earlier on in 2013 and 2014 organized similar trainings for Patrons in schools in the Bawku and the Bolgatanga Municipalities.
?Monitoring and evaluation by the Commission indicates that conducive environment has been created in the school environment and communities. School children and community members in those communities now co-exist peacefully,? the Regional Director indicated.
Ms Ruby Anang, Child Protection Officer of UNICEF in charge of the Tamale office, said children were the most vulnerable who needed much protection and proper upbringing, to enable them become responsible future leaders.
She mentioned that ideally the school environment was expected to be peaceful for the children, but regretted as not the best, instances where children in some schools were sexually abused and given corporal punishment.
?If children are taught at a tender age on the need to co-exist peacefully, they will grow up with it, and this will help to prevent conflicts in society which often affect children greatly,? she stressed.
The Municipal Chief Executive, Dr Stanislaus Alu Kadingdi who lauded UNICEF for complementing government?s efforts, stated that the training programme was very timely, since many school children carried to school past conflicts in their communities.