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Children's Voices

HFLE positively influencing life choices

BRIDGETOWN – Hundreds of students across the Eastern Caribbean are getting valuable life-skills coaching which is preparing them both mentally and physically for various changes and challenges they may experience on the journey to adulthood.

It is coming through Health and Family Education (HFLE) classes being taught at all primary and secondary schools. HFLE is attempting to meet some of the challenges facing Caribbean societies today, including sexual health, rising levels of violence, health and environmental problems.

The life-skills education is also seeking to positively affect behaviours such as high-risk sexual activities, drug abuse, anger and conflict management, and improve social responsibility and academic performance. It is also seeking to increase awareness of the choices available and encourage responsible decision-making.

Education officials have hailed HFLE as a success, but what are students saying? We spoke to some students at the secondary schools level to hear their views.

@unicef Barbados

Loreal Kirton is 16 years old and attends the Christ Church Foundation Secondary School in Barbados

Learning about puberty, core values and problem-solving are some of the things I have picked up from HFLE.

I’ve been able to apply these things to my life, like communication skills and conflict resolution. Like if someone comes and hit me or something so, I know that I don’t have to make a big fuss about it, but I have the tools to deal with it in a way that is not physical.

Some of the core values I have been taught include things like honesty, responsibility, good work ethics. These will help me in the future and even now in third form I am having good work ethics. As I move on to forth form and CXC exams these tools will help me organise my studies.

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