The National Orientation Agency says it has established integrity clubs in at least 1,000 schools across the country.
The Director-General of the NOA, Dr. Garba Abari, said this on Thursday during a Virtual Stakeholders Consultative Meeting on National Ethics and Integrity Policy organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission.
Abari said this was done to purge the nation of corruption and inculcate in children the right values necessary for building a just society.
The NOA boss said the agency had also trained about 71 Ministries Department and Agencies on ethics.
He said, “Even before the draft in national policy, we’ve also been partnering the ICPC and other stakeholders in this particular area. For example, the NOA has trained between 68 and 71 MDAs on ethics and integrity first training.
“In November last year, we were able to establish integrity clubs, taking it to the education systems, to our families and institutions. Between November and December 2019, we had established integrity clubs in 1,000 schools across the country.
“We want to be doing this on a regular basis. We don’t underestimate the importance of catching them young and this is something that has to be done and taken seriously.”
At the which meeting centred on what pillars government should base its national ethics and integrity policy upon, it was suggested that civic education should be taught as a subject in schools so that young Nigerians would grow with a new ethical orientation.
Abari, however, said there was a dearth of civic education teachers and this gap would take some time to fill.
He added, “The teaching of ethics and civic education which the NOA has consistently been emphasising which has now been brought into the curriculum also leaves its own gaps. For example, it is not just enough to say you are going to teach civics at this point now with a curriculum that has no capacitated teachers.
“I don’t think the Federal Ministry of Education or the state ministries of education have capacitated teachers that can teach civics at the moment. So, even if the teaching of civics has been brought back as indeed it has, you will have to find a way of filling the gaps of bringing up competent hands that will teach this curriculum.”
The Chairman, ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said a draft ethics policy was produced 2014 after wide research and consultation with some stakeholders. Thereafter the process stalled.
He said the commission decided that as part of its 20th anniversary activities this year it would advance the process.