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Jul 27, 2004

Teachers learn to deal with AIDS

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It?s the middle of the summer holidays, but somebody forgot to tell a group of primary school teachers, who we found still working hard in the classroom. The over one hundred and twenty educators that are this week taking part in a three day workshop, are not just improving their skills in multi grade teaching, and subjects such as social studies, language arts, and music. According to Health and Family Life Coordinator with the Ministry of Education, Yvonne Codd, the teachers are also being instructed on how to deal with HIV and AIDS in the workplace.

Yvonne Codd, Health & Family Life Coordinator

?The purpose of the HIV/AIDS component is to have teachers become aware of what is happening out there in regards to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Belize. Have them be able to overcome fears of stigma and discrimination against children and colleagues affected with HIV/AIDS and other persons living out there in the community.?

?Right now we are looking at putting together a policy that is a health and family life policy. And under this health and policy life policy will come HIV/AIDS as a component. After the policy has been developed and signed by the ministers of government, then we will look at revising the curriculum to suit the needs of teaching methodologies in schools.?

?When we look at health and family life education we are not only looking at HIV/AIDS, we are looking at physical education, we are looking at the nutritional aspect and we are looking at life skills–we are looking at them knowing how to take care of persons living with AIDS in regards to care and attention that would be needed.?

?When you look at physical education we are looking at the practical part also where they will be able to be exposed to what is the right way from the wrong way of doing different techniques in regards to the areas we are dealing with which are track and field, softball, and football for these three days.?

Codd says similar teacher training workshops are scheduled in the districts next month. The workshop, which ends on Wednesday at the Edward P. York High school in Belize City, is coordinated by the Quality Assurance and Development Service of the Ministry of Education.

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