Michelle Sutton, Health and Wellnes Coordinator for the Ministry of Education, describes a new curriculum guiding health and wellness education.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — Coaches from the Department of Sports and others that work within the primary school system are learning more about a new curriculum guiding health and wellness education.

Michelle Sutton, Health and Wellness Coordinator in the Ministry of Education, shared information with about 30 coaches attending a two-day workshop at the Media Centre at the Warner Park Cricket Stadium. The workshop organised by the Ministry of Sports, began on September 8.

The new curriculum was developed by the Ministry of Education as a core component of the Education Sector Plan 2017-2021. The component, called Physical and Health Education, emphasises children developing and leading healthy lifestyles. It was designed to cover the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, but is being piloted at the primary level.

“Within the Ministry of Education, we indicated that with this new curriculum there are core competencies,” said MS. Sutton. “We want children to develop and to leave school comfortable with an active and healthy lifestyle…we have to start with our youngest right through to our eldest students who are leaving. In this case we are starting with our primary school students.

“This workshop is expected to result in reduced cases of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and other lifestyle ailments, she said. “Communicable diseases are also covered in the new curriculum. A section covers measures to protect against the flu. It has been modified to cover COVID-19 as it has similar symptoms as the common cold.

“With this curriculum, they (students) are understanding the importance of wearing a mask and washing their hands because,” said Ms. Sutton. “To safeguard yourself and others we have to maintain a certain level of personal hygiene. COVID-19 has brought us an opportunity to bring a real-life understanding to health and wellness, in particular making sure that you are staying safe within yourself and the community.”

A similar workshop for coaches on the new Physical and Health Education curriculum will be held in Nevis.