CASTRIES, St. Lucia –- Primary and secondary school drug policies and school security to protect nine-to-25 years old youth are being discussed during a Jan. 21 to 23 Health and Family Life (HFLE) Education Summit under the auspices of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, the Caribbean Forum and other related regional organizations.

Participants will develop a draft Model School Drug Policy that will be reviewed and validated by member states before submission to the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) for endorsement. After the final document has been accepted, it will be sent to member states of the Caribbean Conference (CARICOM), suggesting they implement the recommendations.

HFLE’s overall goals are to: Develop a national curriculum; expand the delivery of its programs to primary schools and through all grade levels in primary and secondary schools; update the HFLE materials currently used in secondary schools; train guidance counsellors as trainers; ensure that HFLE programs meet regional standards, and maintain appropriate records in order allow for the measurement of the efficacy of programming; ensure that the HFLE Program reflects the tenets of the Ministry of Education’s White Paper; ensure that every school has an appointed HFLE coordinator; ensure that HFLE is delivered in primary schools at least twice per week; and ensure the professional development and skills of teachers and guidance counsellors involved in the delivery of the HFLE curriculum.

St. Kitts and Nevis was instrumental in the development of the HFLE and endorsed its development in In January 2013.