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On Monday, July 4th, the Republic of the Marshall Islands Public School System (RMI PSS) in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) launched a five-day workshop on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)/Family Life Education (FLE). The opening officially initiated the first training of trainers (TOT) that aims to equip 20 public school leaders from 9 selected schools in the RMI with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and resources to effectively introduce, hold consultations, and provide professional development to teachers on CSE/FLE.


“According to the National Reproductive Health Policy and Strategy 2016-2018, the government of the RMI recognizes sexual and reproductive health as both pillars of sustainable, social and economic development and a human right and reaffirms the commitment of the RMI government to fulfill its obligation to ensure that all citizens have access to quality sexual and reproductive health services and education,” said Associate Commissioner for Secondary and Career Education, Junior Paul, in his remarks at the workshop opening ceremony.


“A big kommool tata and utmost appreciation to UNFPA, its partners and to the engaged consultants and stakeholders for conducting a situational analysis report to develop an understanding of the issues in relation to sexual and reproductive health with our schools.  My understanding is that this training will provide a strong foundation for comprehensive sexuality education in schools in the RMI,” Paul said.


“There is an urgent need to strengthen the sexuality education that is offered to young people in-schools in the RMI, either through expansion of the existing Health Curriculum or the (re)introduction of a dedicated CSE/FLE curriculum. This will also improve the legal policy context that supports young people to attain their rights.  Additionally, there is a need for greater support for teachers to enable them to deliver or facilitate CSE/FLE and to ensure their classrooms are a safe environment,” said the Associate Commissioner.


Brian Kironde, Technical Adviser, Adolescents and Youth shared that from the very definition of comprehensive sexuality education, “we are obliged as teachers and educators to ensure young people have the knowledge, skills and values that empower them to realise their health, well-being and dignity as well as develop respectful social and sexual relationships that consider the well-being of others that are affected by their choices...."


The school leaders are being trained by two International Education experts from the Family Planning New South Wales (FPNSW), a not-for-profit sexual and reproductive health service provider in Australia.


The 9 selected schools that are going to pilot the FLE are North Delap Elementary School, Delap Elementary School, Rita Elementary School, Bikarej Elementary School, Inne Elementary School, Jabor Elementary School, Ebeye Public Elementary School, Ebeye Public Middle School & Santo Elementary School.


In his special remarks, PSS Commissioner Kanchi Hosia expressed his sincere appreciation to all the international partners for their continuous support for the establishment of implementation plan as well to all the school leaders from the selected schools for their commitment to partake in the 5-day TOT workshop.