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Oct 11, 2022

Intrusive Question Removed from Code Caribbean Project Survey

The Code Caribbean Project Survey has been halted following reaction from Belize and Barbados over certain questions that were posed to students as part of a school-based competency test.  The project was being implemented in Belize and Barbados through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank and sought to provide technical skills in coding and entrepreneurial life skills such as collaboration, teamwork and conflict resolution. But the positive youth development program included the Child Behaviour Checklist, which is a general assessment tool used by paediatricians and hospitals. Within that checklist, however, the children were asked questions about sex and drug use without parental consent, suicidal thoughts and if they wish they were of the opposite sex.  It is intrusive, to say the least, and offensive. The issue sparked outrage in Barbados. Locally, a few students in five schools got these questions. It is not known how many answered and it was recorded anonymously.  In a release issued today, the Ministry of Education says, “While these questions are deemed to be a measure of mental health and well-being, this ministry shares the concern of the public regarding the nature of the questions, which have been removed. The ministry hereby assures the public that the practice of seeking parental consent will continue to be observed.” News Five has confirmed that while it is being dubbed as a controversial survey, the questionnaire being used in the Code Caribbean Project Survey is a public document that has been used for years and was reportedly used in Belize back in 2014.

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