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Training of Trainers Underway for New HFLE Primary School Curriculum

Almost five years ago, in September 2012, the Ministry of Education bowed to public pressure and removed the HFLE Manuel from primary schools with a commitment to review the lessons.  The pressures came from the group, Belize Action when they kept hammering that a large part of the guide was geared at normalizing homosexuality.  Another concern was that the lessons would change the entire value system of Belizean youth by promoting safe sex thus providing an alternative to lead a promiscuous lifestyle.  Fast forward to 2017 and an estimated two hundred educators are currently being trained on the revised HFLE curriculum which focuses on six areas.  Those areas include human relationships, personal development, protection from harm, financial literacy, road and personal safety as well as diet and disease.  According to this new curriculum, the lessons in dealing with emotions will commence in standard three while standard four students will begin learning of body changes; standard five will cover lessons on sex and sexuality with standard six looking at the topic of changes and transitions as well as sexual relationships.  Under the heading of sex and sexuality, students will learn to the advantages of abstinence, peer pressure, the influence of music and the internet as well as how to have open discussions on sex and sexuality with responsible adults and how to access accurate information on sex and sexuality.  Included in the HFLE Curriculum are the topics of social media and bullying.  The 3-day training on the HFLE Curriculum took place at BTEC on the ITVET compound in Belize City but will be held in other areas of the country as well.  Running simultaneously with the HFLE training are the sessions for Physical Education and Literacy.