Public Schools Counsellors in Akoko North East have their shares of the workshop on Sexual and Gender-Based violence, SGBV, organised by Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu Foundation, BAAF in collaboration with Hon. Bunmi Tunji-Ojo, BTO for the purpose of tackling the increasing rate of the evil act in Ondo State.
The training took two days in Akoko North West before moving to East today, first federal constituency to embrace the idea of the wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu targeting school counsellors who have been discovered as vital to the fight against SGBV, since most victims of the act are school girls.
According to the Coordinator of BAAF, Mr. Austin Otabor, while briefing the participants the purpose of the workshop, Mrs Akeredolu decided to train Counsellors as a preventive approach to tackle SGBV, considering the position they occupy in the school settings as ones saddled with the responsibility of monitoring students’ actions and reactions.
He informed them that at the end of the workshop, they would be given Yellow Cards to distribute in their schools which was another awareness strategy devised by the First Lady to prevent the rape and sexual harrassment of girls in the state.
Just like their counterparts in Akoko North West, the participants were taken through topics related to SGBV like how to identify early warning signs in a student who is passing through sexual harrassment or violence, and were informed of some SGBV laws, especially the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, VAPP.
They were charged to rise fully to their responsibility by being more observant to identify students who are passing through sexual and gender based violence or any other form of abuse, and be more friendly in order to earn their confidence.
It was an interesting interactive session when a BAAF member, Mr Bassey Obeten put them through some misconceptions about SGBV in Nigeria where they shared their experiences.
They were enjoined to have listening ears than before, due to the increasing rate of violence against children, especially girls and report any abnormality to appropriate authority.
They were also made to list out their expectations and what they fear would serve as obstacles to the duty expected from them in the fight against SGBV in their schools.