The Ministry of Education in collaboration with UNICEF Eastern Caribbean and USAID Eastern and Southern Caribbean on Friday launched phase 2 of the Act Now campaign.
This campaign is focused on promoting and encouraging the overall health and wellness of students.
Healthy eating, mental health and vaccination are all core elements of this joint initiative.
With the Ministry of Education now transitioning to the second phase of the campaign when the new academic term begins, it will move away from focusing solely on COVID-19 vaccination to an all-around healthy lifestyle.
Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said “Even as we focus on the fact that…COVID-19 vaccinations are now a part of a healthy lifestyle, we also need to focus on the fact that there are other factors that must be brought to prominence.”
She explained that COVID-19 had highlighted the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as the disease was most deadly to those who were unhealthy. Adding to the need for children to be healthy, she said there is uncertainty about what other diseases could lie ahead.
“Prior to 2019, we didn’t know (about COVID-19) but now that we know what we can face, it is our responsibility to prepare the next generation for doing better than we did,” she said.
Chief Education Officer Dr Peter Smith said yesterday during the launch that this phase incorporates “key messages that support areas such as healthy eating habits, the importance of physical activity and exercise and socialising within the context of the pandemic.”
He also called on parents and guardians to help guide children to develop good lifestyle habits that will support their health for years to come.
“Taking the time to talk to your children about eating healthy, being a role model, making sure your child gets enough exercise are all ways that will help motivate a safer and healthier Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.
He also noted, “Now that the Pfizer paediatric COVID-19 vaccine is available to children ages 5 to 11, the initiative also supports the vaccination of this age cohort.”