THE Family Planning Association (FPA) is calling on Government to introduce a comprehensive health and family life education (HFLE) program for students and is offering to partner to help in its implementation.
Responding to reports of videos on social media on November 6 showing students at a secondary school in south Trinidad dancing suggestively, FPA director Ava Rampersad said the incident presented an opportunity for stakeholders to come together to enact an integrated and comprehensive HFLE programme.
“We are not here to point fingers and lay blame. We are here to identify solutions and work in partnership with other stakeholders towards a shared goal, that being the physical and emotional well-being of our young people.
“As upper secondary school students return to a live school environment, we want to capitalize on the opportunity now to work together to bridge the gap between teenage confusion and exploration and adult understanding and guidance.”
Rampersad said a strategic, forward thinking, non-judgemental approach to sexuality education could help reduce the risk of unsafe sexual behaviours among youth, sexually transmitted infections, unwanted teenage pregnancies, unsafe abortions and poor maternal health.
She said the FPA is willing to work with the ministries of education and health and other civil society groups to implement such a programme.
“We have to break the cycle of unequipped and unprepared youth making adult decisions and taking actions that can have long term consequences, not just on their lives but on others.”
Rampersad had a message for parents of pre-teens and teenagers.
“We must come together to bring about positive change. We all want a healthy population. We all want our young people to feel safe. If you, as parent, are uncertain and need help, please reach out to us at the FPA and you can access some of the services we offer.”