Nigeria: Hyo Jeong Character Education Curriculum
Training of 250 Teachers of Public Schools in The Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria On the hj Character Education Curriculum from November 2017 to July 2018
by George M. Ogurie, FFWPU Nigeria
In 2015 the Nigerian Mission received approval to run four days teacher training workshops on Character Education for teachers of public schools in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria. The approval was issued by the Universal Basic Education Board of the Federal Capital Territory – FCT. This is the government department that oversees Primary and Junior Secondary Schools in the Federal Capital Territory.
It was not until 2017, when Nigeria gained the status of Special Strategic Nation Candidate, that this project came off the ground, courtesy of the support of True Mother through the International Headquarters.
A total of 250 teachers from the six Area Councils of the FCT were trained. The workshops were done in batches – Area Council by Area Council, with the active collaboration of the Universal Basic Education Board of the FCT.
The first workshop took place 24 – 30 November 2017 for teachers in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). 43 participants representing 43 schools in the Area Council participated. The second one took place 21 – 24 May 2018 for 39 participants from Bwari Area Council. The third took place 2 – 5 July 2018 for 79 participants from Gwagwalada and Kuje Area Councils. The fourth was held 16-19 July for 89 teaches from Abaji and Kwali Area Councils; making a total of 250 participants.
The general pattern of the four days workshop was the same. There would be an opening session in which government officials representing educational agencies are represented and during which a keynote presentation will be made on the need to educate for character. There would be three other sessions on topics such as: “What it means to be Good”, “Where I learn to be Good”, “Goodness creates Peace.”
The second day would feature presentations on: “Brother and Sister love”, “Solving Siblings Rivalry”, “Preparation for Marriage.” Participants would be divided into groups for group discussion and practice of presentations. Participants would be guided on how to make advocacy presentations on the need for Character Education.
On the third day, a presentation on “Action Plans” is made. This explains the way teachers may use Character Education to bring about attitudinal change and the moral re-orientation of their pupils in schools and in the larger society and the coordination between family, school and community in educating for character. The “Action Plan” presentation would also include a detailed discussion on the forthcoming 100,000 Africa Youth Peace Festival – Abuja 2018 and the teachers’ role in the mobilization process for the event. Afterwards, the rest of the day would be devoted to group activities – discussion and practicing presentations on the need for Character Education.
On the fourth day which is the final day, groups will finalize their presentation practices and select two persons who will represent them in a presentation contest. In cases where there were four groups there would be eight contestants. And in cases where there were eight groups there would sixteen contestants. Contestants were evaluated based on the following criteria: 1. Relevance of content of presentation to the topic; 2. Sequence and flow of Logic; 3. Passion for the subject; 4. Confidence / Interaction with the audience; 5. Time management. Based on these criteria, three winners (first, second and third) would be chosen. At the closing ceremony, cash prizes would be presented to the winners as well as consolation prizes to all other contestants. All participants would be presented certificates of participation, jointly signed by FFWPU/UPF officials and an official of the FCT Universal Basic Education Board.
The Director of Training and Manpower Development of FCT-UBEB, Alhaji Abubakar Dantsoho was instrumental to the success of the workshops. He was personally present at all the workshops. He testifies that of all the teacher training workshops he had witnessed, the FFWPU/UPF Character Education is one that most addresses the core issues in society – the family and its impact in the upbringing of children. He therefore committed himself to further collaboration with FFWPU/UPF on the development of Character Education in Nigeria. He is now the Co-ordinator of the Organizing Committee for the African Educators Conference which is part of the 100,000 Africa Youth Peace Festival, the main theme of which will be the importance of Character Education toward African Development.
The Desk Officer in charge of NGO Affairs at UBEB, Mr Tijani Ahmed Sani, did a wonderful job of registering participants, Area Council by Area Council, and mobilizing them to the workshop. He ensured that the right calibre of teachers, intellectually and spiritually, were brought to represent their schools at the workshops and by and large the teachers displayed a high level of discipline demonstrable of people who would become character educators. They were punctual and regular in attendance. They were attentive to lectures and they participated enthusiastically in their group activities.
In their reflections, the teachers praised the founders of FFWPU/UPF for initiating and sponsoring the Character Education program. Many of them testified that this was the first time they had attended a workshop of this nature and hoped that it will be further developed into something that would be part of the school curriculum nationwide. All the teachers made their commitments to be part of the mobilization process in their various schools and communities for the 100,000 Africa Youth Peace Festival, Abuja 2018.
Outcome: The HJ Character Education has gotten the attention of the Federal Ministry of Education, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN – the body that certifies teachers as professionals), National Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC – the body that decides what should and what should not be in the school curriculum in Nigeria), the Education Secretariat of the Area Councils involved as well as the National Institute for Cultural Orientation. Each of these bodies sent representatives to the workshops. The comments and reflections of those representatives were the same as those of the teachers – commitment to further cooperation.
The workshops received wide coverage by Radio Nigeria Network Service which has a listenership of over 100 million as well as Kapital FM Radio which is the main radio station of the Federal Capital Territory.
Future plan: The next step is to continue the program in the contiguous states to the FCT such as Kaduna, Kogi, Nasarawa and Niger States. Step by step all thirty-six states will be covered. This program will bring about the needed moral transformation in the nation.
The following members of the FFWPU/UPF Character Education Team are hereby acknowledged for their hard work:
- Mrs Margaret Chukwu-Kikunda – Coordinator
- Patriot Idowu Amusa – UBEB and Area Councils Liaison
- Dr George C. Ikpot – Presenter
- Dr Raphael O. Oko – Presenter
- Rev Seka Philbert Seka – Presenter
- Rev Eugene Ahondjo – Presenter
- Rev Sunday N. Uke – Group Leader
- Pastor Silas Ekuh – Group Leader
- Rev Alex Asikhia (late) – Group Leader
- Mr. Francis Kyanyon – Group Leader
- Mr. Yapi Adopo – General Affairs
- Mrs Hortense Dakpogan – General Affairs
- Mrs Ngozi Bitti – Registration
Special thanks to Dr Robert Kittel for making available the newly developed HJ Character Education material for use.
Most importantly, our deepest gratitude goes to our beloved True Mother for her support for this project by providing the finance through the International Headquarters. Words are not enough to express our gratitude.