WASHINGTON D.C.: The World Bank is in the process of collaborating with several development partners in an effort to secure a brighter future for Caribbean youth with the introduction of a new school curriculum.
Last week, the Washington-based financial institution said educators from 14 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries recently met with Bank officials and representatives from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the United Nations to hammer out ways to convince regional teaching staff of the “class value”.
“The hope is that when they return to their respective countries, these ambassadors will promote the new syllabus to encourage more schools to add it to their timetable,” the World Bank said.
The Bank said despite significant advances in extending primary and secondary education, there is concern that intense focus on core subjects, such as English, Mathematics and Science, are failing students later in life.
“More specifically, they are not being sufficiently equipped with the life skills to make personal and social decisions outside of the classroom, which could most affect their future,” it said.
The World Bank said one way to combat this is via a new curriculum that has been developed to help young people across the Caribbean learn key life skills.
According to the Bank, Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) classes, that are available in all CARICOM member countries, provide students with support and training in four core areas: Sexuality and Sexual Health; Self and Interpersonal Relationships; Managing the Environment (social, psychosocial, psychological, physical, cyberspace, economic); and Appropriate Eating and Fitness.
“When (our children) are pressured negatively that they can use coping skills, that they can use resiliency skills, that they can communicate their feelings,” Barbadian guidance counselor Margaret Grant told the World Bank.
The World Bank said the HFLE syllabus in the Caribbean is “already reaping the rewards in schools where the class has been incorporated into the curriculum”, citing Balcombe Drive Primary and Junior High School in Jamaica as an example.