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Child Friendly Schools

UNICEF developed and introduced the Child-Friendly/Effective Schools (CFS/ES) Framework for education systems and schools that ‘serve the whole child’ in 1999. This initiative is UNICEF’s flagship education program and it supports its implementation in over 95 countries worldwide.

Child-Friendly/Effective Schools as defined by UNICEF,“…is a framework which seeks to help schools and educational systems progressively move towards the implementation of quality standards. These standards are aimed at addressing all the elements that influence the well-being and rights of children as learners. The basic goal of CFS is to create positive, safe, healthy learning environments where all children reach their full potential.”

There is no strict formula for the makeup of CFS/ES. Different countries and cultures implement different models of CFS/ES most suitable to their needs and which are sometimes based on available resources. However, in the eastern Caribbean there are some key characteristics that should make child-friendly schools readily recognizable to anyone entering these schools:

  1. Positive behavioral management practices
  2. Student participation
  3. Healthy lifestyles
  4. Inclusiveness
  5. Life skills-based health and family life education and
  6. Parental involvement