Family Life Education Pilot Teacher Training Workshop
Written by George Tavola   
Thursday, 13 March 2008

ImageA five-day Family Life Education (FLE) workshop for teachers from 10 schools took place on 19–22 February at the Pacific Theological College in Suva, Fiji. The workshop was organised by SPC’s FLE Coordinator and the Curriculum Development Unit (CDU) of the Ministry of Education, and was supported by the joint SPC/UNFPA/UNICEF Adolescent Health and Development (AHD) project.

The teachers in the workshop represented the schools from around the country in which Family Life Education will be piloted for Form 3 students in 2008.

Image The workshop covered the first two strands of the syllabus, namely ‘Human Growth & Development’ and ‘Relationships’, as well as practical sessions on student-centred interactive and participatory methodologies and lesson planning. Sessions were conducted by facilitators from SPC, the Fiji Ministry of Health, the Reproductive Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

Definition of Family Life Education

FLE is an educational programme designed to assist young people in their physical, mental, psycho-social and spiritual development. FLE aims to help young people develop the skills that will enable them to cope with the many challenges they will face in their journey from childhood to adulthood.

The need for FLE

Prevention is always better than having to face problems after they occur. As young people enter adolescence, they are exposed to many challenging circumstances that influence their behaviour and practices. With increasing use of alcohol and substance abuse, such behaviours put them at risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, unplanned pregnancy, sexual abuse and exploitation.

Most young people lack information, education and guidance on the physical, psycho-social and reproductive aspects of human development. FLE will equip students with information, knowledge, attitudes and skills to meet life’s challenges by making informed and responsible choices and decisions.

Key components of FLE

The FLE package comprises a set of core educational learning areas that build on each other to assist in the development of young people. The Ministry of Education aims to effectively contribute to the holistic development of students beyond academic education and aims to have FLE taught from class 3 at primary level right up through secondary school.

The key components are:
• Human growth and development
• Relationships
• Personal skills
• Communication skills
• Reproductive health
• Sexual health
• STIs and HIV
• Society and culture
• Gender

A school-based FLE programme

The formal education system is well placed to provide ongoing FLE. The school environment allows the FLE programme to be taught within the structure and discipline of schools. The safe and supportive environment in schools facilitates learning so that information can be effectively translated into positive behaviour development in matters relating to sexuality, reproductive health and other aspects of youth development.

A pre-intervention study to establish the knowledge, attitudes, practices and behaviour of Form 3 students will be undertaken by the Fiji School of Medicine in the coming months in order to determine a baseline from which to evaluate the impact of the FLE pilot programme.

For more information, please contact George Tavola, Adolescent Health and Development Section, Public Health Programme, SPC
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Last Updated ( Friday, 11 April 2008 )