JIS News

Minister of Education, Andrew Holness has emphasised that the Ministry was committed to empowering young persons with the necessary information to enable them to make the right decisions about preserving their lives.
He pointed out that this was being done through the Ministry’s Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) programme, which continues to promote healthy lifestyle and family life education.
“A life skills approach to learning is at the core of the Ministry’s HFLE curriculum, which aims at empowering young people with skills for healthy living and focuses on the development of the whole person, emotional, social, mental, physical and spiritual,” Mr. Holness said.
The Minister was speaking at the official launch of the national sexuality and reproductive health expo, held on February 13, at the National Arena under the theme: ‘Tek weh yuh self: watch yuh flex..Wait to have sex’.
Mr. Holness explained that the HFLE curriculum explored human sexuality and prevention of unplanned pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. The curriculum is also designed to help students make the best choices for themselves, based on their own context and situations and presents all the options available to help inform their choices, whether it is to delay sex or engage in safer sexual practices.
Mr. Holness said the Ministry has recognised the relevance of such programmes in the development and implementation of life skills education that was accurate, age appropriate and participatory in its approach.
“With this in mind, I am pleased to report that the newly revised HFLE programme will be the vehicle through which students will access information on HIV/AIDS and sexual reproductive health, while promoting life skills through student centred participatory learning experiences,” the Minister said.
He pointed out that while many Caribbean territories had begun to adopt skills based approaches to health education, Jamaica was way ahead and was the first CARICOM member state to have developed an HFLE curriculum for early childhood education.
“This is giving a strong foundation for the development of children from birth to age six. At the beginning of the 2007/08 academic year, 224 schools had started implementation of the programme,” the Minister said.
The national sexuality and reproductive health expo intends to raise awareness among students about their sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV and AIDS; promote abstinence among students and also promote positive attitudes and behaviour towards persons living with HIV/AIDS.

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