A two-day online training of teachers on Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) was conducted on 25th and 26th August, 2022, jointly organised by the Nagaland State AIDS Control Society (NSACS) and the Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE), Kohima at the Conference Hall, NBSE Kohima. The training was conducted with an aim to enhance the understanding and skills of teachers to effectively address the adolescents at schools and empower them to make healthy choices. It was conducted for the teachers of high schools and higher secondary schools from all the districts of Nagaland registered under NBSE. A total of 847 participants registered for the training, while a total of 548 participated on the first day and 411 on the second day.
The two-day sessions comprised of different topics such as Aims and Objectives, HIV/AIDS and STI, Growing up and Adolescence Reproductive Sexual Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Life Skills for HIV Prevention and Implementation of 16 hour Curriculum of AEP.
On the first day of the online training of teachers on AEP, Dziesevolie, Academic Officer, NBSE spoke on the need for appropriate information of the Adolescence Education among the teachers and efforts from all sections in combating against the HIV/AIDS.
The training started with the topic on aims and objectives by K. Puthenhenmei, AD (YA), NSACS and highlighting about the evolution of AEP, the methodology and the importance of AEP for the teachers.
Thejangunuo Theunuo, DD (IEC), NSACS in the next session talked about the basics, transmission and preventive measures in combating HIV/AIDS and myths & misconceptions surrounding HIV/AIDS. She also talked briefly about the importance of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) and on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI).
The last session of the first day was on the topic ‘Growing up and adolescence reproductive and sexual health’ which was explained in a detailed presentation by Puni Kokho, Senior Program Manager, Planning, National Health Mission, Nagaland. He stressed about the importance of making the adolescents aware of the physical, emotional and social changes that they undergo while also mentioning about the support of the Government for promoting menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls (10-19 years) where sanitary napkins are made available free in schools or by providing at a subsidised rate through Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) .
On the second day of the training, session on Life Skills for HIV Prevention was imparted by Chongkoi Khaming, AD/MM, IEC, NSACS. She discussed about the importance of life skill approach and goals for adolescents, and understanding the ten core life skills and the use of box techniques that would help the students to address their issues and queries anonymously.
On the topic of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Dr. Viketoulie Pienyu, Senior Medical Officer, State Mental Health Institute highlighted about the importance of mental health and how it affects the adolescents and also about the abuse of substance at a very young age as a way of experimenting and trying out due to peer pressure and many other reasons. He encouraged the teachers to understand and guide the students, as they are the right persons who can nip the problem in the bud. The presentation ended with a question-answer session on the subject.
The last session of the training on the second day was presented by Metevinuo Sakhrie, Joint Director, IEC, NSACS, who spoke on the implementation of 16-hour Curriculum in schools. She highlighted that the AEP is to equip every adolescent (10-19 years) with information, knowledge and life-skills to protect themselves from HIV infections and manage their concerns pertaining to reproductive and sexual health, and that the methodology of AEP is interactive, participatory and based on life-skills. She encouraged the teachers to take sessions on AEP for at least a minimum of 16 hours in one academic year,
The training ended with K. Puthenhenmei proposing the vote of thanks to all the participants for their cooperation throughout the training. School level activities will be conducted after this training in coordination with NBSE.