Saint Lucia has suspended a ban on sugar-sweetened beverages in schools ‘until further notice’.
An Education Ministry memo on Friday to all primary and secondary school principals explained that the ban’s suspension allowed for broader stakeholder engagement and greater dissemination of information on the matter.
The Education Ministry had announced that according to a Cabinet Conclusion, the ban on sugary drinks would have been effective January 4, 2023.
“Children will not be allowed to consume high sugar-sweetened drinks on school premises,” a Ministry statement said.
The recommended sugar content was below one teaspoon per one millilitre of liquid.
Responding to the ban’s suspension, the President of the National Principals’ Association(NPA), Valerie St. Helene-Henry, said it indicated a flaw in the process before making the prohibition public.
“There is need for more consultation, more guidance and instruction,” St Helene-Henry told St Lucia Times.
She observed that although principals were part of the consultation, there were different views regarding the approach toward the ban and the implications of the move.
“There will be repercussions. There will be challenges and there are lots of questions as to the way forward,” St. Helene-Henry observed.
She noted that many schools have a no-soft-drinks policy.
But she said the ban that the Ministry has suspended was more holistic in addressing sugar-sweetened drinks.
“We have a lot of questions regarding who determines which one is and which one is not (sugary). We have no list of the drinks that probably parents should buy for their children,” she pointed out.
In addition, the NPA President observed that even while encouraging students to use homemade beverages made from local fruit, sugar might be needed.
When Saint Lucia announced the ban on sugary drinks in schools, health officials welcomed it, noting the adverse effects of excessive sugar consumption on health.
Headline photo courtesy Fernando Andrade (Unsplash.com)
Here again in less than two weeks the Department of Education has to abandon another instruction issued.
This is becoming embarrassing , the inexperience of management is showing up. There is an absence of adequate consultation and planning. So much for people first.
The soft drink cartel have to make sure your children continue to consume their poison. The country is full of clowns. We can’t achieve or accomplish anything on our own. The Japanese have to pick up our trash, the Chinese have to teach our farmers and the white man has to tell what not to eat. We can’t do anything for ourselves. Sad
either way the soft drink “cartel” as you put it would still make plenty of money because then as the ban has been placed the children would still go out and buy more off school compound. some would even go as far as sneaking it into schools in non see through metal or plastic water bottles. and let’s be very honest here, as an adult once being a child too we know the tricks and scams i don’t think teachers or security guards are paid enough to stop every student without a sea through bottle and as then to open it and show what is inside before entering the school gates. it’s a complete waste of time and it makes no sense. maybe the ministry of health should start by sending health inspectors to check out the kinds of conditions canteen staff are cooking for people children in and what kind of so called “food” they have our children consuming
Ah bare idiots ah run our education ministry it seems! Mi understand di intention an is good but them cyan execute di ******* message on ground! Cyan geh it right!!!
The price of bread went up and the government refuse to enact a livable wage rate in the island
The worst performing ministry fr years now. The Ministry of Education is once again showing it’s ineptitude and lack of ‘street education’. 1st ban the sale of soft drinks on your compound. That is what u have control over. Who is to say that the local juices done at home are not sweeter that the soft drinks the kids buy.
The clown show continues… EVEN IF THE CIRCUS HAS ALREADY LEFT THE TOWN.
Ahhh, the Ministry of Miseducation aka the fete and lime ministry.
There’s many perspectives to this , I believe in a more heath conscious st.lucia and where everything isn’t as black and white or (flock mentality)
1. The ban in my opinion is well suggested but should be thoroughly approached, given that yes this may encourage the youth to buy the beverages out of school compound,but here’s where we think different, how about a ban also at a consumer level for students within uniform, similar to alcohol etc, the purchase maybe done out of uniform (adult supervision such as parents). It’s not rocket science. I think we need to all understand what’s management honestly.
2.This could bring about entrepreneurial opportunity for locally made juice to be spec to fit the need , correct nutrition and sugar content, simple , we have all the so called right people within government to see things so can pull through, then again I’m ignorant my bad.
3.I believe we need a serious reboot with our thinking not only us the citizen’s, but the citizen’s that running this country, all the cooperates, private entities, the government our favorite one we does kiss ass, we need a serious mental check because all I does observe and understand here is this country there like a jamet where all tom dick and smelling playing in her ass like poupol on a fowl, here does sicken me alot because we refuse to talk for the right things or come as a collective, we highly ignorant and it’s not a matter of not being educated it’s a matter of and individual that’s where it starts.
4.Its probably me that ignorant.
Well what’s the use of a ban in the first place ….kids don’t drink in school alone. I remember and still these days after school lime we go and buy our ice lolly, candy, tamarind balls, all in kind of high sugar snacks, plus when we reach home so what’s the use
Look what Labour do y’all. Putting the people first Haha.
there is so much more going on in our country that the Government/people should look into ,this is not b on our agender at the moment just saying
This product of colonial rule which has been destrying Caribbean lives over the last few hundred years was banned in the schools of the colonisers since 2014 at least.
Just can’t let go of even the worst of habits and addictions.
Tea, home made kombucha (it really is very easy to make and is the drink soft drinks are mimiking)
You’d think the same way they enforce a ban on alcohol can easily apply to the soft drinks but, no, they need more “consultation with stakeholders”. Political speak for, we got paid so we changed our mind. Let the diabetes spread. Get us all addicted to sugar drugs. Thank god I was able to break the habit before I was struck with diabetes. Obvious no one in this government is looking out for us.
SLT is doing it again. Not publishing my comments which only stated facts.
1. There are no less than 6 former educators in Cabinet for them to have taken a decision like this. Really putting the cart before the horse.
2. Did they ever considered or was it a case that teachers would be the ones who would become Softdrinks Police.
While I like the initiative taken by the Ministry in terms of the health benefits, it may have been more realistic to ban the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages on school compounds as a first step.
There must be an intentional approach to health education at the levels of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, school management, and the PTA so that the benefits of the proposed action may be understood in the context of NCD Prevention.
Hopefully the matter will be reviewed carefully so that implementation of the measure or part of the measure can begin after Easter.
What I want is a clear list of drinks that meet the criteria and have they not got this wrong? “The recommended sugar content was below one teaspoon per one millilitre of liquid” it would be all sugar!!!
charly… i wish you luck even slbs is a lame quack! consumer affaris is a white elephant and others just as same. look how many private doctors offices in small lucian and figure out the reasons