Ministry of Education, Guyana

School Health, Nutrition, HIV& AIDS

Among the most pressing issues affecting people in Guyana is HIV and AIDS. The Ministry of Education has therefore taken the decision to position HIV prevention within the context of an holistic programme of school health and nutrition activities and it sees the education sector as having a vital role to play in the country’s response to the epidemic. During the last five years the main vehicle for implementing the education component of the HIV and AIDS programme in schools has been through the Health and Family Life Education Programme (HFLE). Recent evaluation of this programme highlighted the need for additional training and effective monitoring of the teachers trained to deliver the programme.

Training programmes for head teachers, teachers and sector management staff will be conducted to provide adequate sensitization on issues related to HIV & AIDS and HFLE. This process will be continuous. Efforts will also be made to strengthen the HFLE programme through training of the Ministry’s schools welfare officers and the inspectorate officers who have the responsibility of monitoring and evaluating the activities within the school system.

The unit that has been set up to implement and monitor the elements of this plan, including the roll out of the HFLE Programme to 300 additional schools by 2013, will be strengthened. This unit will collaborate closely with the Ministry of Health in implementing all the programmes under this component including the screening programme in schools and the Health Promoting School Programme.

The Community based School Feeding programme in the hinterland will be expanded to an additional 70 schools. The Milk and Biscuit Programme will be reviewed and will target the most vulnerable children in nursery and early primary grades.

MOE in collaboration with the Ministry of Health will undertake two nation-wide health and nutrition surveys during the plan period and it will also set up a system for regular screening in a number of areas.

In addition the Ministry will set up a monitoring programme for water and sanitation in schools and it will keep stakeholders in schools informed about the water and sanitation needs of schools throughout the country.

Finally, based on some recent experiences, the Ministry will establish a mechanism for psycho-social counselling in schools and will encourage the participation of NGOs and Community Based Organisations (CBO) in this area.

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