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Agile Cascade Training Empowers G&C, Female teachers, and community mentors in Jos North and South LGA’S in Plateau State

By Noklem Sarah Paksohot and Francis Ibeh

The Society for Family Health, through the World Bank Agile project, continues to lay groundbreaking achievements through its cascade training of G&C teachers, female teachers, and community mentors. This ambitious endeavor to empower and strengthen the adolescent girls on the Plateau is through the transformative programme known as the AGILE 2.2A Life skill component which has since taken its root. This initiative brought key government stakeholders such as the commissioner for Education, Hon Nyalun M. Salibu, the AGILE project coordinator, the Ministry of Education area directors of Jos North and South, and the SPIU component lead on the 4th of September 2023 to flag off the opening ceremony, in a collaborative effort that aims to restructure the future of adolescent girls in Plateau State.

The AGILE 2.2A Life skill component programme is a comprehensive educational initiative designed to equip young adolescent girls with essential life skills through the use of the manual. The objective of the cascade is to empower female teachers, G&C teachers, and community mentors with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to build their capacity to confidently lead safe space sessions with empathy and understanding of adolescent girls in order to foster holistic development among them. 

One of the programme’s defining features is its collaboration with the state government. In the words of the commissioner, “This programme is among the key areas that is dear to the heart of his excellency, the Governor of Plateau state. It is our desire that our girls be empowered with the right skills to enable them to navigate their society and thrive. It is to this end that all participants must put in their best and gather all the needed knowledge for this initiative to thrive in our schools, and if any of the teachers doesn’t pass above average that teacher should be dropped”.

This partnership has provided an enabling environment for a more extensive reach. It underscores the government’s commitment to the development and well-being of adolescent girls in Plateau State. The commissioner further thanked and appreciated the SFH team for all the technical support they have been providing to ensure exceptional delivery of the project goal and objectives through the cascade. The AGILE 2.2a Life skill component programme holds the promise of a brighter future for Plateau State. It aspires to foster confident, capable, and adaptable individuals who can excel in various aspects of life. This will not only benefit the individuals but also contribute to the overall development and progress of the state. The Agile Cascade Training approach ensures that these teachers are well-equipped to impart life skills through the safe space initiative effectively to the students. The training sessions were dynamic, engaging, and adaptive to the unique needs of the adolescent girl on the Plateau. The participants showed enthusiasm and readiness to begin the safe spaces in their individual schools. It was a time of self-reflection, guidance, learning, unlearning, and relearning for all the participants. In the words of one of the participants Mrs. Palang Benson (G&C Teacher in GSS Abattoir), “We are truly grateful to the AGILE team and the SFH team for a wonderful training experience. In fact, this five day has truly transformed the way I will see an adolescent going forward, I now understand how to be a better G&C teacher and I will make sure this safe space thrives in my school.”

As the program unfolds, we can anticipate a positive rippling effect throughout the community. It is expected that empowered adolescent girls will become leaders, change-makers, and contributors to the growth and prosperity of Plateau State. In conclusion, the Agile Cascade Training of GCs, teachers, and community mentors for the Life skill program in Plateau State represents a significant step toward a more promising future. Through collaboration with the state and a focus on essential life skills, this initiative is poised to make a lasting impact on the lives of the youth and the prosperity of the state.