Ensuring that school-children in St Lucia get consistent and age-appropriate information on HIV and AIDS is a key priority of the St Lucia Teachers’ Union (SLTU).
With the goal of making their work on the EFAIDS Programme as sustainable as possible, SLTU have actively sought to train Health and Family Life teachers on HIV and AIDS issues. In St Lucia, Health and Family Life teachers have specific responsibility to teach sexual health.
A recent EFAIDS workshop brought together 30 Health and Family Life Teachers to familiarise them with the EFAIDS Student Toolkit ‘Learning for Life: Classroom Activities for HIV and AIDS Education’. According to national EFAIDS coordinator Sharon Persad, “lively discussions were held” as the Health and Family Life teachers took a detailed look at activities in the 10-14 and 15+ age ranges on gender, behaviour change and ending stigma.
Complementing the educational aspect, presentations on the legal and medical implications of HIV and AIDS were included in the workshop, providing participants with an overview of the HIV epidemic in St Lucia.
In an innovative approach, SLTU also teamed up with the Grassroot Soccer Programme to present how sports activity based methods can complement classroom work and support students to learn to protect themselves from HIV and AIDS.