FIFA Football for Schools programme launched
…to be rolled out in nursery, primary and secondary schools
The Ministry of Education in close collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and the Guyana Football Federation on Wednesday launched FIFA’s Football for Schools (F4S) programme.
Football for Schools (F4S) is a programme by FIFA in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It seeks to make football more accessible to both boys and girls around the world by incorporating football activities into the education system and contributing to the development and empowerment of children. It is being rolled out in all 211 countries which are a part of FIFA with Guyana being the first country in the Caribbean region selected to pilot the programme.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the two ministries and the Guyana Football Federation with support from the FIFA Foundation to ensure the smooth implementation of the programme in schools across the country.
During the launch ceremony at the Guyana Football Federation National Training Center, Providence, East Bank Demerara, Honourable Education Minister, Priya Manickchand stated that the programme advances the Ministry of Education’s efforts to assure every child, in every school is provided with a more balanced and well-rounded educational experience.
“Primarily, this initiative will introduce the sport of football to our children spread across all regions of Guyana. The central focus here, however, is not on creating the next cadre of elite football players. This programme goes well beyond that and uses football as the medium for exposing our pupils to a range of vital life skills and competencies that transcend what they do on the field. What is admirable is that it provides an array of developmental activities that concurrently build our children’s psychosocial and social-emotional capacity.”
Minister Manickchand highlighted that the programme addresses key topics such as good sportsmanship, bullying, effective communication and diversity while at the same time emphasizing gender equity by promoting the full participation of girls and boys in all activities.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr. noted that the rollout of the programme plays a vital role in the overall development of sports in Guyana.
“This is extremely important for the trajectory, the overall direction that we have to go in building, developing sport and taking sport in Guyana to realize the potential of our talent at the international level,” he said.
F4S Project Leader, Mr Alexandre Gros commended the Government of Guyana, particularly the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport for their efforts to ensure the programme is implemented.
Mr Camara David, General Secretary for the Caribbean Football Union extended congratulations on behalf of the Union for the successful launch of the programme. He further echoed sentiments that F4S will positively impact the lives of children in all corners of the country.
Meanwhile, Dr Douglas Slater, Assistant Secretary General Human and Social, Caricom Secretariat, stated that not only will the programme shape and improve the lives of children, it will also facilitate the expansion of the talent pool of local footballers.
Following the official ceremony, students from several schools along with their coaches displayed their football skills.
Also present at the launch were Education Specialist, Dr Olato Sam, Administrator of the Unit of Allied Arts, Ms Lorraine Barker-King, Assistant Chief Education Officer – TVET, Ms Marcia Paddy, Mr Marti DeSouza, Deputy Chief Education Officer – AHED, Mr Camara David, General Secretary of the Caribbean Football Union, Dr Douglas Slater, Assistant Secretary-General Human and Social, Caricom Secretariat and other representatives from the Guyana Football Federation and FIFA.
Boys and girls ages four to 14 from schools across the country will benefit from the implementation of the programme.