The Curriculum Research, Evaluation and Development Directorate (CREDD) unit of Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) Monday Kicked-start a four-day Comprehensive Health Education co-creational forum.
The forum underway at the NaNA conference hall brought together different stakeholders which include representatives from Educational Region 1, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, gender unit, Madarasaa unit, non-formal education, Curriculum Research, Evaluation and Development Directorate (CREDD), Special Needs, Project Coordination Unit (PCU), Standard and Quality Assurance Directorate (SQAD), Science and Technology Education Directorate (STED), In-service Training Unit and Gambia College.
Based on the Comprehensive Health Education research findings and recommendations made in the past engagements with different stakeholders (NGO, NAMs, school teachers and principal, students, religious leaders, CBOs and CSOs), the forum was used to deliberate on areas of intervention to create and develop valued activities for CHE in schools across the country.
In his remarks, Mr Momodou Jeng, director of CREDD disclosed that Strengthening Access to Quality Comprehensive Health Education in The Gambia is a five years project and “It is a research project on Comprehensive Health Education.”
In brief, he reminded participants some other issues under CHE which includes STIs, teenage pregnancy, baby dumping, illegal aborting, and drug abuse among other issues, which he asked rhetorically, if people are well educated on some of the issues.
He noted that the research findings revealed that most of the children are getting into some complications without knowing where and from who they can seek for advice, authentic and relevant information.
“Therefore, there is urgent need for intervention to brainstorm on the needy to package in the immediate intervention packages for our students and children to ‘Strengthening Access to Quality Comprehensive Health Education in The Gambia,’” Director of CREDD echoed.
Ms Phebian Ina Grant-Sagnia, principal investigator of the project for Strengthening Access to Quality Comprehensive Health Education for in-and-out of School Adolescents in Region I, reiterated that the project targets adolescents of in and out-of-school in The Gambia
She said comprehensive sexuality education is an issue that is affecting the youth, which the task is not just only for schools, as parents too have to take part.
In his presentation, Dr Mat Lowe, a co-researcher and resource person emphasized on the aim of Strengthening Access to Quality Comprehensive Health Education in The Gambia. Saying the overall aim of the study is to understand the underlying factors that affect the implementation of comprehensive health education (CHE) for adolescents in and out of school.
He noted that the methodological approach was divided into three phases while he as well talked about the package of interventions which include training of teachers on CHE based on the study findings, establish collaborative agreement with teachers and the school of education at the Gambia College to enlist their support for the project and community engagement forums and discussion sessions on CHE.
Ms Fatou Dally Bittaye, harped on importance of the co-creational forum to the participants for better implementation to strengthen the work of Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE).
However, Strengthening Access to Quality Comprehensive Health Education in The Gambia is an implementation research project done by Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education with funding from International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada.