By Alfred Fornah
A Training of Trainers (TOT) Workshop for teachers on Migration was rolled out from the 26th to the 28th October 2021 by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Bo, Southern Sierra Leone.
Aimed at building the capacity of teachers to understand migration issues the training will be followed by a Quiz Competition on migration for four senior secondary schools in Bo District.
It was the understanding that the teachers who attended the TOT will provide mentorship for pupils that will represent their schools in the first phase of the Inter-Secondary School Quiz Competition on Migration scheduled to take place this month.
The teachers were also encouraged to raise awareness about the dangers of irregular migration and safe migration pathways among pupils in their respective schools.
“Education without pathways may increase the propensity for irregular migration. Therefore, it is important for young students to understand the link between education, development, and migration; that if well-managed, migration will be beneficial for young people and communities. This is what we want to raise awareness about through this activity by collaborating with teachers,” said Brima Bendu, National Focal Point, Migrant as Messengers Project at IOM Sierra Leone.
Education has always been one of the cornerstones of development. In the context of Migration, it provides skills to facilitate movement. Also, schools can play an important role in addressing irregular migration, especially among school pupils.
Taha Conteh who represented the Ahmadiyya Muslim Senior Secondary School in the training noted the importance of the workshop and affirmed his commitment to the initiative. “The exercise is very useful, I have learned a lot of things regarding safe and regular migration,” Conteh said. “Migration is good for both the host country and the country of destination if it is done orderly,” he added.
Fatmata Koroma is another training participant from the Queen of the Rosary School in Bo. For her, the training provided a broad insight into migration dynamics in West Africa, and the challenges young people faced when they embark on ‘backway’ journeys to Europe. “I have learned a lot about migration, and knowledge gained will be cascaded to pupils in our school,” she said.
The training was made possible through a collaboration between the Migrant as Messengers Project funded by the Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands and the IOM’s Technical Education and Vocational Training Project supported by the Government of Japan.
The School engagement initiative is being delivered by IOM in collaboration with the West Africa Youth Lead Advocacy Network, Peace Building, Education, Health Science, Governance and Democracy, Socio-Economic Development (WAYNPEED), and the Pleasant Children’s Foundation.