I have been made aware of widespread public concern about certain sections of the Health and Family Life Education Programme (HFLE), curriculum used in Jamaican schools. There is strong objection to some of the questions on sexual behaviour and the commentary on heterosexuality/homosexuality.
The public should note:
– The curriculum was revised over a two (2) year period 2009-2011 and distributed to schools last September
– The content of the theme on sexuality & sexual health was brought to my attention for the first time yesterday (September 13).
– I consider sections of the material inappropriate for any age and certainly for the grade 7 & 8 students for which it is designed.
– I have instructed that the material be withdrawn from all schools and rewritten then redistributed so as to prevent disruption of the health & family life education instruction.
The family life values espoused by the ministry of education are those based on the Christian principles of sexual morality as well as compassion and tolerance for all persons.
The health & family life curriculum was developed for Caribbean schools under the auspices of UNICEF, UNFPA, national HIV Programme, National Family Planning Board, Ministry of Health, dispute resolution foundation and the national council on drug abuse.
Ronald Thwaites, MP