Two USA based foundations, Anambra Education Ministry train 66 counsellors on ecology

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By Julie Sylvia, Onitsha

Two USA-based non-profit Foundations, Life Care Coalition Outrich, LCCO, and Igwe Davidson Okafor/Mercy Ikeanyi, IDOMI, in collaboration with Anambra State Ministry of Education, have trained 66 guidance teacher counsellors to train other counsellors on ecological social emotional learning.

The teacher counsellors, drawn from 226 post-primary schools in the state, are to train other counsellors in the educational zones of the state to achieve emotional stability among the students for educational prowess.

In a two-day international training/ Workshop with the theme ” Envisioning an Ecological classroom to enhance knowledge in social- emotional learning in the capital city of Anambra, the duo rganisers added that the program is an annual event in memory and sustainability of their father’s legacy who stopped at nothing to support and encourage people to take education seriously and have passion in touching life positively.

According to them the train the trainers’ event was geared towards enhancing and addressing the overall needs of students, for improved learning and societal development.

Speaking at the occasion, the coordinator, iDOMi, Dr Chinedu Ikeanyi, who is the son of the late traditional ruler of Enugwu-Agidi in Njikoka Local Government Area of the state explained that it was part of their desire to fulfil the continuous calls from the successive administrations for repatriation of their knowledge to enrich the society.

Ikeanyi, said that with social emotional learning, all the students would learn equally in diverse ways to impact positively in society because only those emotional sound could adapt to learning easily.

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Ikeanyi, while noting that the programme would be sustained in the same way they sustained their free medical programmes and scholarships, hinted that they would study the impact of the workshop/ training on the counselors to see how to improve in subsequent years for overall good of Anambra State residents and promotion of benefits of education.

Contributing, the LCCO Coordinator, Mrs Victoria Anago, explained that the programme would also empower counsellors to act as social workers in schools while improving the education system.

Anago added that the programme would instill in the teachers knowledge of improving in their subject teaching competence, while reaching out to all the students and make them access all the general education, improve their skills and capacities to become useful to society.

The Visiting speaker, Dr Sevaughn Banks, professor of social Work, California state University, Stanislaus,Thurrock, California, argued that ecological classroom was among the many educational modals useful for addressing students learning and educational needs, while customising the school resources.

In a vote of thanks, the Director, Education Services, Anambra State Post-Primary School Service Commission, Mrs Onwuka Ogonna, commended the organisers, assuring that the State would sustain the partnership, as well as monitor the counselors to ensure they implement what they have learnt for improved education.

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Earlier, Chairman of the occasion and Vice President of COEASU, Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, Dr Chuchil Okonkwo, hailed the initiative, noting that it would help teachers to improve in their teaching and learning in the changing world for impactful development..

Okonkwo, who argued that there was no need of doing the same thing same way and expecting a better result, urged teachers to invest on research to gather more knowledge of new technologies and methods of teaching so as to be fit in transferring same to students as the world evolves.

Dr DC Nwabunze, State chairman of Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, said that the body had been consistent since 2004 it engaged in this philantropic service.

Nwabunze said that Ikeanyi has a huge passion to offer service to people across all sectors of life, “They are involve in health, environmental development and education sectors, the effort is commendable,” he stated.

Mrs Ogonna Onwuka, representing the Ministry of Education in post primary school said that the Ministry was solid and stood in support with LCCO and iDOMi good intentions for education growth in the state.

Onwuka added that the body has backing of the government in dishing out these wonderful training that will enhance the preformenace of both teachers and students.

She listed the six educational zones in the state with number of schools under each zone as follows: Awka 64, Aguata 52, Nnewi 49, Onitsha 33, Ogidi 40 and Otuocha 26, stating that with good representation of all schools the knowledge garnered in the workshop would be reflected in all schools.

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Reverend Sister Amaka Asike, from Handmaid’s Girls Secondary School Amansea, described the sacrifice made by the team just to teach counselors newest methods of relating profitably amongst the students as commendable.

According to her with the skills learnt principals, teachers and counselors in various schools of the state now have better way to fish out students with emotional, psychological, economic challenges etc and provide needed care and love to get them back to right living.

Mrs Loretta Uzuagu, a participant from Aguata zone said that schools under Aguata were up to 52 and that counselors under the zone would be engaged in workshops so as to achieve the essence of the two training and workshop.

Mrs Chinwe Chukwuemeka from Otuocha zone said she learnt new skills that will aid their work effectively in communicating rightly with their rural students and commended the organisers for the thought of giving back to the society where they grew up before travelling to overseas.

Miss Chinaza Joe, a participant also from Eagle power school of excellence Awka, stated that great insight was gained from the training/Workshop as she gained more knowledge on social and emotional development of a child.

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