USA -based Foundation trains guidance councillors for 266 schools in Anambra


By Our Correspondent

TWO nongovernmental organizations, based in the United States of America, USA, the ‘Life Care Coalition Outreach (LCCO)’ and ‘Igwe Davidson Okafor and Mercy Ikeanyi (INDOMI Foundation)’, have begun a training programme for guidance councillors in the 266 secondary schools in Anambra State on socio- emotional state of children in schools.

Sixty six guidance councillors from the six educational zones in the state took part in the pilot training in Awka and they are expected to replicate it in all the secondary schools in the six educational zones namely, Aguata, Awka, Nnewi, Ogidi, Onitsha and Otuocha.

Founder of the NGO, Prince Chinedu Ikeanyi said they will come back next year to assess the impact of what they have done in 2024.
Ikeanyi, an educationist, said although members of the Foundation were excited coming to their state of origin to provide the services, there was no commitment and support from the state government.

“We keep explaining to them what we have come to do, but unfortunately many government officials appear not to be ready to cooperate in areas they are expected to, even when we informed them that we came back in response to the governor’s call for the people in diaspora to come home and assist in whatever way they can.

“We want a situation whereby government shows interest in what we have come to do because if we go back and report that we were well received at home, more people will be eager to come home with their own programmes.

“If one quarter of our people show interest in our state, this state will attract a lot of development programmes,” Ikeanyi said.

Mrs Victoria Oby Anago, daughter of the late Igwe Ikeanyi, who is the executive director of LCCO, believed that in the absence of social workers in schools, guidance councillors would be able to perform the duties of the social workers after the training.

She said: “We expect the councillors to understand the background of the students they teach and assist them accordingly because environment contributes to the ability of thestudent to understand what he or she is taught.

“We expect them to, once in a while, bring all the teachers in their schools together and teach them ways of handling the students, in addition to teaching the various subjects.

“We have also informed the councillors that all the things we have taught them will be meaningless if they don’t implement them in their schools and zones”.

The Director of Educational Services in the Anambra State Post Primary Schools Services Commission, Mrs. Obianuju Onwuka explained that because of the large number of guidance councillors in the state, the 66 participants were selected from the six zones.

She commended the Ikeanyi family for remembering their state by using the Foundation established in memory of their late father, who was the traditional ruler of Enugwu Agidi in Njikoka local government area, to help the society.

“I recall that the family had done a similar thing for Principals of schools in 2021 and for them to be spending their hard-earned income to uplift the standard of education in Anambra State, shows that they love their state and their late father.

“Initially they wanted to do it for all the councillors in Anambra State, but the figure from all the secondary schools is staggering in terms of cost, so we selected those who will later train other teachers.

“I have confidence in the people that were selected for this training and I believe they will train others in their zones well. I will monitor them and ensure that they implement it properly.”

The resource person, Dr. Sevaughn Banks who is an Associate Professor at California State University, USA said she became involved in the project through a former student in her university.

“For this programme, I taught the guidance councillors about the ecological classroom which concerns student’s beahviour and all aspects of learning”, she said, and expressed satisfaction with the level of understanding of the trainees.

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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