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Over the past few months, the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training (METVT) has been working diligently with several stakeholders to address the concerns surrounding school aged children being overweight. 

The Ministry has been creating initiatives to sensitise students about the dangers of non-communicable diseases (NCDs); the need to adopt healthy lifestyles and the importance of attaining life skills in the areas of teamwork, problem solving, goal setting, analytical thinking and leadership. 

This month, another such initiative is set to be launched.  It is a Nutrition Quiz entitled Out with NCDs – a competition targeting secondary school children, aged 15 to 17.  The schools involved in the competition are: Christ Church Foundation; Daryll Jordan; Deighton Griffith; Lester Vaughan, and The Lodge School ‘A’ Combined Team.

It is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training; the Ministry of Health and Wellness; the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados; the National Nutrition Centre; Ocean Fisheries, and UNICEF.  It will commence on Friday, April 29, at 10:00 a.m., at the Gordon Corbin Studio, Government Hill, St. Michael.

According to Professor Ann St. John and Dr. Pamela Gaskin: “One in every three students is overweight. NCDs are also responsible for eight out of every 10 deaths in Barbados, NCDs account for 60 per cent of the country’s health budget expenditure and the economic cost of NCDs is $375,000,000 annually.” 

The objective of the quiz, therefore, is to sensitise students and the public, in a fun way, about non-communicable diseases.  The exercise is also expected to help prepare students for the CXC (CSEC) Food, Nutrition and Health examination.

The competition will comprise six rounds and will see six teams vying for prizes, including blue-tooth equipment and other paraphernalia, such as stationery. The team that accumulates the most points will be deemed the winner of the competition.  The winning school will be presented with a challenge trophy.

The format for the nutrition quiz will be as such: three students from a school will comprise a team, while two students will be on set; students can exchange between rounds.  For rounds 1 and 2, the format will be six questions per team.

In Round 1, each member of the team will answer three questions with no collaboration involved, and 10 seconds allotted to each competitor. Ten points will be awarded for each correct answer.

In Round 2, a team can collaborate on the six questions to be presented to each member. However, the team has 15 seconds to collaborate and answer the question.  Fifteen points will be given for each correct answer.

For Round 3, the team will be allotted 1 and 1/2 minutes to produce a literary piece in a genre of its choice, such as a jingle, limerick, spoken word, soca or reggae.  The team will have no more than 45 seconds to present.  Points will be awarded for the literary piece as follows: Creativity – 5; Content – 10; Execution – 5 and Relevance – 5.  No music will be allowed.

Chief Education Officer, Dr. Ramona Archer-Bradshaw, will offer remarks at the Prize-Giving Ceremony on Thursday, May 12, at the Ministry of Education’s Administration Block, Elsie Payne Complex, at 10:00 a.m. 


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