By Omar Bah
The Child Protection Alliance recently ended a three-day sensitization workshop on child protection laws for stakeholders in the education sector in Jarra at the Mansakonko education directorates.
The training, according to the CPA program officer, is part of a six-month grant funded by the British Embassy to implement activities to establish effective child protection guidelines in school.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines, the CPA’s program officer Lamin Fatty said the project is meant to help teachers and members of school management committees to have knowledge and professional capacity to protect children from all forms of violence, including sexually harassment and corporal punishment in schools.
“Basically before the end of the project we want to support the targeted schools to develop and implement child protection policies and reporting procedures and guidelines. This is to ensure that we have an environment that is free from sexual abuse and harassment,” he said.
He added: “We have already seen that research has shown there has been lot of physical violence against children, particularly in the areas of corporal punishment and sometimes even sexual abuse”.
The CPA program officer further stressed that these guidelines will ensure that there is conducive environment where students will learn without experiencing abuse.
“In a nutshell, this three-day training which involved students, teachers and school management committees, is all to ensure children are given the due protection they deserve,” he said.
He said there will be a follow-up training workshop at the end of the three days with other stakeholders from the immigration and other departments to report the outcome of the training.
“The training is important in the sense that child protection issues have been a concern and Gambia being part of the United Nations have ratified many instruments which among is the protection of child rights,” he explained.
He said CPA as takes it as a paramount responsibility to create all avenues for children to be protected from all forms of violence.
“So this training is not only about having the laws implemented, but it is also to create an avenue for teachers, parents and students to have a better understanding of some of the negative impacts of violating children’s rights,” he said.