Federal Capital Territory Secondary Education Board in collaboration with a Non-Governmental Organization, Chen Teen and Youth Development Initiative and other stakeholders have commenced advocacy in all schools in the Territory to enable young people to build resilience to cope with exposure to change.
The Executive Director, Chen Teen and Youth Development Initiative ((CTYDI), Dr Olusola Oresanya stated this at the 2022 Annual Abuja Schools Debate Tournament in Abuja.
Dr Oresanya said learning resilience during adolescence could make a real change to one’s perception and success in life.
She called for the inclusion of lifelong skills in schools’ curriculum to help children make good use of their time especially when they are idle.
She stressed the need to raise awareness and generate a discourse on developing resilience in young people as a tool for survival in the 21st century.
According to her, low resilience has been associated with an elevated incidence of suicidal behaviour, development of mental health problems, and poor general health status.
“Statistics show that about 64 million Nigerians are currently suffering from one mental illness or the other and Nigeria has Africa’s highest caseload of depression, and ranks 15th in the world, in the frequency of suicide, according to WHO,” she said.
An Assistant Director, FCT Secondary Education Board, Mr Itam Nneoyi, said there was need for the society to encourage young adults to engage in skill acquisition to overcome depression, suicide and other unhealthy conduct.
Mr Nneoyi explained that the board had a rich curriculum on resilience taught in schools which would help develop the students on ways of handling challenges of life.
Also, Miss Anjolaoluwa Odomo, a student of JC Best International School, Abuja, called on students to come out of every challenge, hence the need to build their resilience.
In the same vein, David Aboko, a student of Government Secondary School, Kabusa, commended the initiative stressing that students needed resilience to cope with the challenges of life.
Seven schools participated in the debate, Life gate Academy clinched the top position in the competition, GSS Wuse took second while GSS Apo, took the third position.
Abuja Schools Debate is a platform created to allow young people participate in the discourse of topical issues affecting them.
Experts and professionals were to address such issues.
The theme for the debate tournament is: ‘‘Developing Resilience in Young People: An Essential Tool for Survival in the 21st Century”.
Reporting by Daniel Adejo; Editing by Adeniyi Bakare