Written by Austine ELEMUE

FCTA designs confidence building program for children

The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, through the Education Resource Center, has designed Books Enlighten and Reading Helps Us Grow, BEARHUG, aimed at building confidence in pupils and students of junior secondary schools in the territory. 

According to the authority, the programme has also helped in keeping children off juvenile delinquency and crimes since inception of the programme a decade ago.

The Deputy Director and Head, City Library Education Resource Center, Hajiya Neemat Addulrahim, made disclosed this, last week, in a chat with journalists in Abuja. 

Speaking on the essence of the programme, she said: "The programme seeks to encourage children of ages six to 16 to be positively engaged during the summer holiday and the programme is usually held for both primary and secondary school age children. 

"It is not just about reading; it's an innovative programme and some of its activities include reading competition, spelling bee, drama, chorography and beauty pageant and most of our activities are surrounded by the theme chosen for that year. For instance, this year, we are going to include cooking. 

"BEARHUG has become a household name for children of that ages, parents call us every year to find out when the programme will be holding. We have also tried to help these children in socialising, as well as brainstorming and what we do during brainstorming is that the children choose a burning issue at a particular time and share ideas among themselves, and it is quite interesting because they go on their own to do research about it," she noted. 

She revealed that the topic for discussion by the children this year centered on insecurity in the country, where they would also talk about corruption and kidnapping, adding that it was shocking how they shared ideas on current issues and come up with solutions, and sometimes talk to government on how they should go about certain current issues. 

Commenting on financing of the programme, Addulrahim revealed that only N1000 fee was payable per child for participation, decrying that what was required was always much higher than the token fee collected.  

According to her, "You know, the summer holiday is usually long and most parents are usually worried about keeping their children positively busy and away from other activities that are negative and unproductive that could result to crime. 



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