IWPR: Combating Terrorism With The Child’s Right Act
14 December 2016 News
The Open Minds Nigeria program is an initiative of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting which had a school debate as part of the activities rounding off the maiden program which began this year 2016. The theme of the debate was, “How Child’s Right Act Helps Combat Terrorism” and the students engaged in a healthy discourse with the aim of sharing what they’ve learned through the course of their program.
The Open Minds Project as funded by the Nederland embassy is aimed at opening up the minds of students to critical thinking and resorting to writing, constructive engagement and not to violence. This happened through media trainings in two secondary schools in the FCT, Kano and Bauchi.
The event which took place at Starview Hotel Gwarinpa, featured it’s members who are students from Government Day Secondary School Gwagwalada and Government Secondary School Mabushi. They each had three representatives who spoke freely about the ways and tools for combating terrorism which include Education, parental supervision, enlightenment, right to associations, right to privacy and several other ways. It was attended by parents, guardians, the media community, members of the civil society Organisations, teachers and heads of the schools represented.
The Project Officer, Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR), Ann Iyonu, spoke about the institute and what it stands for. She spoke about the initiative of the Open Minds Nigeria School Project which…
She said sects like the Boko Haram recruit young people by filling their heads with things so the project encourages students to filter things you they hear and find the truth for themselves.
Excerpts From The Child’s Right Debate
Hamza Adams a student of GDSS Gwagwalada said the right to Education in itself cannot combat terrorism and education falls short as well. He gave an example with Abdulmutallab who tried to detonate a bomb on the delta airline and is currently in a Michigan jail.
Other students from GDSS saw the importance of Educating a child in a bid to stop terrorism for if they knew better they wouldn’t go into it. Edegbai Kenneth Segun of GSS Mabushi said combating Terrorism isn’t only for the government but a responsibility for everyone.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to fight for the rights of children.” He believes we can combat Terrorism by socialising, educating children and informing them in the right way.
“Every child wants to have value in life and be appreciated so if we teach them what is right they can stand for themselves.”
Speaking on the right to parental guidance, a particular student, Diamond Gray, shared a personal experience of how growing up without his parents made him vulnerable to external influence, but he made a conscious decision and found a way of getting back to school and making something of himself.
It was a very democratic and interactive session as other students shared their thoughts, agreeing and disagreeing with points and perceptions.
The Principal of GDSS Gwagwalada Mrs Sylvia Inyang and the Vice Principal Admin of GSS Mabushi Hajiya Fadilatu Tukur Ibrahim appreciated the IWPR team especially the Project Officer, Ann Iyonu, and the media trainers for the work they’ve done with the children. The VP Mabushi advised the students to keep up with the project’s mantra, “Open Minds: SPEAKING UP., REACHING OUT”
In closing, the Project Manager said the Child’s Right Act gives the children all they need to grow right and that parental guidance is necessary in managing some excesses that uncontrolled freedom may bring. he also enjoined the students to reach out to others saying;
“Don’t keep this knowledge to yourself alone.”