StaRS Project: AHEAD Organises Curriculum Training for Teachers

On the 22nd and 23rd of October 2019, teachers from Oranmiyan College, Anglican Central and St Stephen’s Middle School came together for the training on the chosen curricula of Water and Sanitation Hygiene, Bullying and Violence and Gender. This training was a crucial step in the continuation of the implementation phase of the Starting Right at Schools (StaRS) project. The aim of the training was to teach the teachers with the curricula that they would use in training the students on the selected issues. It was also an opportunity for them to get familiar with the material, understand how to contextualize it to their schools and to work out whatever ambiguity they may face in the course of implementation.

WATER AND SANITATION HYGIENE (WASH)

The presentation of the Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) curriculum was delivered by Ms. Sola Olanrewaju, the Head, Program Development and Implementation at the Academy for Health Development. The modules of the WASH curriculum include washing hands, personal hygiene, hygiene and sanitation, puberty and menstrual hygiene management and how basic toilets and good hygiene practices are essential for the survival and development of children.

The WASH manual will serve as a practical guide to be used by teachers and school health assistants who are involved in the promotion of water, sanitation and hygiene practices (WASH). It is designed to provide the necessary background to WASH topics for teachers and school health assistants. The objectives of the manual include

  • To raise knowledge and awareness of good WASH practices.
  • To inculcate good water, sanitation and hygiene practices in our children.
  • For girls and boys to understand puberty and associated body changes.

The presentation was filled with stories and activities like washing hands to a song, role playing and storytelling.

BULLYING AND VIOLENCE

Ms. Seun Davies, the Senior Program Associate, Program and Capacity Development at AHEAD presented the curriculum on Bullying and Violence. The curriculum covered the different forms of violence and bullying, how to recognize and address them, how to self-assess oneself to determine if one bullies, how to advocate against bullying and the roles of the teachers in bullying situations.

The curriculum also included an anti-bullying pledge to be taken by the students and the institution of anti-bullying clubs and ambassadors who would work with the teachers to identify and mitigate acts of bullying and violence.

The presentation was made interesting with the use of tests, checklists and role-playing.

GENDER

The Program Associate, Program Development and Implementation Mrs. Olamide Akanbi presented the Gender Curriculum. The curriculum includes modules like understanding gender and gender division of labour, Knowing your body and Gender-based violence

The curriculum highlighted the difference between gender and sex, how their perceptions influence attitudes, behaviours and expectations and addressed terms like gender equality and gender equity. The objectives of the curriculum were

  • To assist the school management in addressing gender issues at the school level
  • To impart gender responsiveness and sensitivity training to teachers at high schools in the intervention site.
  • To equip the students with the concepts, skills and attitude needed to facilitate equal participation of girls and boys in schools

The curriculum was rich in storytelling activities.

CONCLUSION

At the end of the training, the Middle Schools’ Director who was present to give support to her colleagues, thanked the Academy for Health Development and her sponsors for the empowerment of the teachers and she encouraged the teachers to be fine conduits of the information they had received. She emphasized the need for them to not only cater to the academic needs of their students, but to ensure the students also enjoyed emotional and psychological support from them.

PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE EVENT

AHEAD Meets with the School Principals and Leaders of the State Education Board

As a follow-up to the assessment of school facilities, the organization held a Project Intervention Discussion with the principals and leaders of the state education board to discuss the intervention plans for the school. The most recurrent issues among the schools were Water and
Sanitation Hygiene, Bullying and Violence and issues surrounding Gender.

Based on these findings, the AHEAD team developed a body of interventions that were divided into 3 classes:

  1. Physical Interventions which include provision of sanitary facilities like hand-wash basins and Information Education Communication (IEC) materials.
  2. Policy which covers the setting up of laws and rules to ensure adherence and compliance with the interventions.
  • Training curricula which would be taught to the teachers who would then teach the students to ensure mind-shifts and improve acceptance of the interventions.

The curricula developed were divided into the 3 thematic areas of WASH, Gender, Bullying & Violence as identified to be addressed in the project. These curricula will be delivered to the teachers in a series of trainings and they in turn will deliver it to the students through the agreed delivery methods.

The curriculum will be delivered by the schools during the periods assigned for extracurricular activities, holding fortnightly, after which, clubs would be formed to encourage and advocate for good practices of what would have been taught. Teaching aids such as video, charts and materials would be employed for the demonstration of specific topics like hand washing and menstrual hygiene

PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE MEETING

AHEAD Organises a Workshop on Using Reference Managers and ATLAS.ti 8 Windows for Literature Reviews

In an effort to build capacity for research and action – which is part of the organization’s mission,the first edition of a workshop on “Using Reference Managers and ATLAS.ti 8 Windows for Literature Review”came up in March, 2018, at the Academy for Health Development. The aim of this workshop was to impart the participants on how to conduct a good literature review with the aid of reference managers (EndNote and Mendeley) and ATLAS.ti 8 windows software.This was achieved through exposing participants to the fundamentals of doing rigorous literature reviews with the use of reference managers such as EndNote and Mendeley, as well as providing the participants with the basic knowledge and the use of ATLAS.ti 8 windows software in preparing literature review by following an approach emphasizing data integration, organization and constant documentation of the process.The participants were first taken on Fundamentals of Writing Literature Review as well as the Ethics of Effective Writing (approach and styles), before they were introduced to the use of the softwares. The workshop featured many hands-on sessions in which the participants had first-hand experience with the software. The participants included Resident Doctors, University Lecturers, Civil Servants and students.

At the end of the workshop, a raffle draw was done with a prize of ATLAS.ti software, courtesy of ATLAS.ti.

Testimonies from Participants:

“The workshop was excellent on my overall analysis”

“A job well done. Please keep it up”

Site Sustainability and Close-Out Strategic Meeting

The Centre for Integrated Health Programs (CIHP) is working to be able to successfully respond to the changing landscape in the healthcare sector and donor environment in order to achieve greater impact, through the strengthening of the organization. To accomplish this, the Academy for Health Development (AHEAD) was invited to facilitate a Site sustainability and Close-Out Strategic meeting for her staff. The goal of the meeting was to build competencies of her senior-level managers in the Lagos and Nasarrawa branches of the organization.

As there is a difference between leadership and management, the meeting served to expose the managers to the different skills required for each, the convergence of both and how to deploy significant and effective leading and managing strategies in organizational practice in order to be better equipped healthcare professionals.

The objectives of the meeting as set by CIHP were to:

  • improve the knowledge of senior level managers on key leadership and management issues,
  • facilitate the ascension of new managers to management,
  • assist CIHP Managers to be well-rounded executives, and
  • develop the skills of managers in the areas of managing people, organizing teams, supervising and delegating.

The themes explored at the meeting include ‘Leadership-Management soft skills’, ‘Leadership Management hard skills’, and ‘Leadership dynamics for effective growth and change management’. PowerPoint Presentations, case-studies on real life scenarios, role plays and team-building activities were some of the tools employed by the seasoned health leadership and programme management specialists from AHEAD to further explain and dissect these themes.

While participants were able to fill out an evaluation form on the last day, daily evaluations were taken and reported and on the last day, a session was allotted to discussing feedback.

The 34 members of staff from both locations who participated in the training were very satisfied with its outcome based on their assessments, and suggested topics like ‘Team Dynamics’, ‘Performance Appraisal’ and Financial Management amongst others be included in subsequent trainings.

Introduction to Grant writing and Essentials of Project Management

As part of the relationship fostered between Academy for Health Development and Heartland Alliance International (HAI), and their commitment to grow healthcare systems that are efficient and reliable, AHEAD was once again called in to organize a 5-day seminar for the mid-level staff of HAI on the topics of grant writing and project management. Richman’s principle that successful health care for the 21st century calls for diversification of leadership capabilities and management styles that will enrich abilities to respond to the needs of all groups was the underlying foundation upon which the training was held.

It was expected that at the end of the workshop, the participants would;

  • Be familiar with basics of grant writing.
  • Understand effective project management principles and practices.
  • Acquire skills in key field management practices.
  • Develop greater teamwork, communication and self-management competences, and
  • be knowledgeable and prepared for effective crisis management.

The workshop was divided into 3 parts to promote an effective learning process and engagement for the participants.

Under the Overview of Grant application, participants were exposed to the concept of grant application, effective writing tips and how to justify, implement and report a good budget for grant application. They were also able to put their skills to the test by working on a genuine call for research proposals.

In Project Management and Implementation, participants encountered project management tools and were taught how to identify and respond to ethical and non-ethical issues that may arise on the job.

People Management Skills was an opportunity for participants to learn the relationship between the technical and leadership skills required for effective management. Crises management competencies and strategies, Emotional intelligence and crises management, and the Role of team work in project operations were just a few of the topics that were discussed in this section.

Evaluation was assessed through the daily verbal and written feedback that the participants gave. They gave their assessments on a number of things including; the learning environment, the course content, the quality of instruction and their level of satisfaction.

Suggestions like the addition of themes like ‘Conflict at the workplace’ to the curriculum and a longer training duration were suggested.

Apart from being armed with new knowledge and skills, participants were also certified at the end of the training.

“Leading and Managing for Results” Training Workshop

As part of her mission to build capacity and translate knowledge into effective programmes, the Academy for Health Development (AHEAD) organized a three-day workshop for the Nigeria office of Heartland Alliance International (HAI). The workshop which was themed “Leading and Managing for Results” focused on improving the proficiency of the manager and reinforcing the strength of the organization in order to stay abreast of the changes in the health sector and donor environment, and to have greater impact as an organization.

The objectives of the training included:

  • Improving the knowledge of middle-to-senior level managers on key leadership and management issues
  • Developing the skills of managers in the areas of managing people, organizing teams, supervising and delegating, among others.

The philosophy of this workshop developed and implemented by AHEAD is to position professionals in the health sector and their organization to achieve tangible results through a skill-focused approach that would enable them to interact with the health better and to ably integrate key leading and managing practices. This philosophy was emphasized at the workshop through the application of presentations, case-studies, team-building activities and role-playing amongst other things, facilitated by health leadership and programme management specialists.

Leadership-Management soft and hard skills such as concepts and tools that facilitate effectiveness in the healthcare systems were discussed and topics like ‘Leading and Management Framework’, ‘Emotional Intelligence and Setting Work Climate’ and ‘Monitoring Performance for Impact’ were also explored.

Daily evaluation was carried out by the participants and an end-of-workshop evaluation was also done. The 35 members of staff of HAI who participated in the workshop assessed the workshop as excellent based on its content and the quality of instruction.