During Term Three of this academic year, the Ministry of Education Technological and Vocational Training (METVT) embarked on an initiative to encourage students at the primary and secondary level to adopt a healthy lifestyle. It was called the Active Kids’ Initiative.
The non-curricula activity was created against the backdrop that students had been catapulted into sedentary mode as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and learning from home while on their devices.
With the aim of encouraging these young people to keep moving, it called on the participating students to accumulate 10,000 steps or more daily. The steps were recorded by pedometers that were gifted by UNICEF to 20 students and four point persons at the select schools.
The primary schools involved in the pilot project were: Belmont, Half Moon Fort, St. Ambrose, and St. Elizabeth, while the secondary ones comprised Alexandra, Daryll Jordan, Graydon Sealy and Parkinson Memorial.
Point persons at the schools recorded the students’ steps on a weekly basis, and these were posted to a Google form at the Ministry of Education.
In a further bid to motivate the participants towards the objective of 10,000 steps, schools were assigned champions. These hailed from the Youth Arm of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Inc. of Barbados, students from the Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, as well as Education Officers and a counsellor from the METVT.
Midway in the competition, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados Inc. presented fruit baskets to 10 students at each school, who had accrued the most steps.
In recognition of the students’ progress and accomplishments, there will be a prize-giving ceremony on Wednesday, July 6, at the Ministry’s headquarters, Elsie Payne Complex, Constitution Road, St. Michael. Participants who would have accumulated the first, second and third most steps will be awarded several prizes.
Additionally, the primary and secondary school with the most accumulated steps will be presented with a trophy.
The ceremony gets under way at 2:00 p.m. and will be addressed by the Chief Education Officer, Dr. Ramona Archer-Bradshaw, and the Deputy Chief Education Officer, Joy Adamson, who is responsible for primary schools. Closing remarks will be given by one of the student participants.