The ACCEL Africa Project in Nigeria is strengthening systems and providing stakeholders across spheres of the society with the skills and tools required to urgently eliminate child labour and achieve SDG Target 8.7 by 2025.
The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Dutch Government funded ACCEL Africa Project in Nigeria, in collaboration with the University of Ibadan (UI), has trained 62 teachers, community influencers and other stakeholders from Abuja, Niger, Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, Ogun, Oyo, and Lagos states on the application of the Supporting Children’s Rights through Education, the Arts, and the Media (SCREAM) Modules to eliminate child labour in Nigeria.
The training, which held at the Otunba Subomi Balogun Conference Centre, UI Hotel, Ibadan from Saturday, 9 April to Wednesday, 13 April 2022, incorporated interactive teachings with games, role play, painting, and other practical sessions delivered by a team of 6 professors, 6 PhD Tutorial Assistants, and 4 Administrative Support Assistants from the Pediatric Ophthalmology, Ethics, Pragmatics, Child Psychology, Industrial Relations, Mining, Agricultural Extension, and Accounting fields. The ACCEL Africa Project Coordinator also facilitated sessions and provided technical input.
The SCREAM Module – ILO’s education and social mobilization template designed to help educators promote understanding and awareness of child labour among young people, had been adapted and developed by a team of intellectuals at the University of Ibadan to suit the child labour contexts in Nigeria’s agriculture and Artisanal Gold Mining (ASGM) supply chains and beyond.
The UI adapted and developed modules cover: ‘The Concept of Child Labour and International Labour Standards’, ‘Being a Child in the Nigerian Society’, ‘Hazardous Child Labour in Artisanal Mining Sites and Agriculture’, ‘Does Gender Matter in Artisanal Mining Work /Agriculture?’, ‘From Child Labour to Decent Work’, ‘Improved Agricultural/Mining Techniques’, and ‘My Role, Our Role in Artisanal Mining and Agriculture’.
According to the National Project Coordinator of the ACCEL Africa Project in Nigeria, Dr. Agatha Kolawole, the certified trainers are now expected to establish SCREAM Clubs in their various schools and communities, continuously provide children with information on their rights regarding child labour and decent work and sensitize children as touchpoints to reach their peers.
Speaking at the end of the training, Professor Akinola Odebunmi, a Professor of Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis, and Director of the UI Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, expressed optimism that the trainers would apply the tailor-made approaches in adapting the modules to their peculiar social and cultural settings.
A participant at the workshop and principal of Galadima Kogo Community Primary School in Niger State, Joshua Ozizi says the training has corrected earlier held misconceptions, revealed the techniques required to eradicate child labour in local communities and emphasized the need to apply indigenous languages in interacting with parents and care givers especially those in rural communities, on the menace of child labour and the gains of decent work.
Since 2020, the ACCEL Africa Project in Nigeria has carried out a series of interventions on child labour including research, the development and validation of Nigeria’s National Policy and National Action Plan on the elimination of child labour and forced labour, the provision of school kits and re-registration of out-of-school children and other direct and indirect interventions. The project also provided educational support to over 1,400 children in Ondo and Niger states.
The Project is also working with the University of Ibadan to develop a curriculum on the elimination of child labour in Nigeria to increase the knowledge base and raise awareness on the dangers of the scourge.