FIC Report (Nassarawa State) – The Federal Government (FG) in collaboration with the Nasarawa State Government has begun the training of 650 youths from the 13 Local Government Areas (LGAs) as facilitators of At-Risk Children Programme (ARC-P) in the state.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the three weeks training recently in Lafia, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, Special Adviser (SA) to the President on Social Investments, said the training was aimed at equipping them with requisite knowledge.
Mrs. Maryam Uwais, National Lead of ARC-P, who was represented at the occasion by Mrs. Grace Obi-Ukpabi, said the At-Risk initiative was a strategic approach to solving the myriad issues affecting the enrolment of children in schools in the communities.
Uwais, who revealed that the 650 facilitators were expected to give a monthly report on the progress of each child under their care, urged the facilitators to help the children beyond acquisition of knowledge, to mentorship.
The Presidential adviser said, “I like to tell you that we have placed a lot of responsibility on you; you have been trained to handle the responsibility of other children beyond learning.
“You will take care of the children in your communities, you will be expected to not only supervise and teach them, you will also monitor them, and you will mentor them.
“You will make sure you give us a report every month on how each and every child that has been assigned to you is progressing within your community”.
She described the tasks of the facilitators as huge but, “we feel this is the only way we can address the huge numbers of children that are out of school across the country.”
The SA to the President therefore lauded Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State for his cooperation and support toward ensuring the success of the programme.
Also, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Aisha Rufai-Ibrahim said the 650 youths were selected from the 13 LGAs of the state to be trained on knowledge and skills.
She explained that 50 youths were selected from each of the 13 LGAs to ensure fairness and equal opportunity to all the parts of the state.
She further revealed that, the facilitators would be trained in seven areas which are; basic education and literacy, agriculture, climate change, health and nutrition, digital skills, sports, substance abuse.
The Commissioner added that each facilitator would be assigned to teach and mentor 50 of out of school children and adults from one to 24 years in their respective communities.
“They are expected to provide basic education and vocational skills to the out of school persons under their care in order to make their lives worthwhile and enable them to either return to school or pick up a career.
“The government would pay the facilitators N30, 000 monthly to enable them do their new assigned job with ease,” Hajiya Rufai-Ibrahim added.
She expressed optimism that the programme would go a long way toward addressing menace of street begging involving children in the state.
The Commissioner therefore promised to put machinery on ground to ensure the success of the programme and urged the beneficiaries to take the training seriously for the overall development of the state.
Ari, Liman Aminu.
Head of Centre,
Federal Information Centre, Lafia.