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Group Trains School Teachers On Environmental Mentorship

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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP) with the support from GEF Small Grant Programme (SGP Nigeria) has promised to train additional secondary school teachers in Abuja as mentors for Environmental Club (ECO Club).

GIFSEP is a non-profit organization founded on the ideals of environment education, climate change adaptation and mitigation, renewable energy and sustainable development.

The organization was established in recognition of the tremendous environmental challenges and the ever-increasing threat arising from the impacts of climate change. Its mission is to mobilize communities to build resilience to a changing climate, to conserve and protect the environment.

The objective of building the capacity of teachers as ECO Club mentors, is to enable them nurture and groom students and youths to become Green Ambassadors.

The Executive Director of GIFSEP, Mr. David Michael Terungwa disclosed this on Wednesday at a Capacity Building Workshop organised for secondary school teachers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Mr. Terungwa said the training was attended by teachers drawn from 70 senior secondary school within the FCT, adding that the participants were first trained in climate advocacy and further taught how to start and run ECO Club

According to him, the project started in 2017 with 16 schools with practical activities, such as gardening, trees for school, solar for schools, recycling among others.

“This year we plan to expand to all the 75 senior secondary schools in FCT. Already, we have powered the boys and girls hostel with solar”, he said.

The workshop was organized ahead of school resumption to motivate and empower the teachers to address climate change issues.

He said as part of resilience building against climate change, Nigerian farmers need to practice climate smart agriculture by doing more irrigation without depending so much on rainfall.

The GIFSEP boss added that more than 90 per cent of the nation’s agricultural production was rain-fed dependent.

“Once there is drought, it means that what the farmers planted dried off or rotten away. This means that all their investment and time also lost. And that exposes farmers to more hardship and then increasing poverty.

 “In this case, we need to do irrigation more and not be dependent so much on rainfall. We need to make use of all our existing dams and our water bodies and grow food all year round”, he further explained.

Mr. Terungwa also harped on the need for farmers to approach irrigation as a way of building climate resilience so that they are able to produce food all year round without necessary waiting for the rain, whose patterns have changed, and can no longer predicted.

 “If we can do this all year round, we don’t need to wait for rain. We can irrigate and produce food all year round”, he added.

He also noted that the spate of flooding that happened recently is going to impact negatively on food sovereignty and food security.

He added that as many people lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, the pandemic had showed Nigerians that they could grow food for themselves.

“What we can do is to start garden in our homes, schools and communities. We should be producing vegetables that are very nutritious for our youths, kids and families”, he advised.

In her remarks, Head of Department, Science, Technology and Mathematics, Secondary Education Board of the FCT, Hajia Rahmatu Kamar lauded the workshop.

Hajia Kamar said that it would assist in enhancing teachers’ capacity on environmental education and therefore urged teachers participating in the workshop to sustain environmental clubs in their respective schools.

According to her, this can be achieved through motivation and guidance of their students to address environmental issues and climate change.

Also speaking at the event, Mr. Ifiok Udom of Government Day Secondary School, Bwari, Abuja, noted that his school environmental club was established in 2017.

Mr. Udom added that the club had recorded feat in areas of environmental cleanliness, waste sorting and recycling.

In her contribution, a teacher at Army Day Secondary School, Asokoro District in Abuja, said her school had yet to establish environmental club.

Mrs. Okoro therefore called on the leadership of GIFSEP to assist in establishing the club.


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