Make all school health-promoting schools

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Health promoting schools and global standards

While pollution in atmosphere is increasing day by day and new contagious diseases are coming up, children need extra care, support and assistance to be healthy. Due to their immune system not being fully equipped, children can be soft targets of these new transmittable bacterium, virus or fungus. Amid such concern, it’s important to take new safety measures and educate children good habits, including hygiene. This basic healthcare as well as education will be more effective if it becomes a routine at homes and schools.

Covid-related school closures have disrupted children’s education and access to nutritious meals for now. The pandemic has triggered mental health conditions like stress, anxiety and depression not only in adult but also in children. Further, an estimated 365 million primary school students worldwide had to miss out their school meals, says report. There is widely seen a need for a global solution for school children’s suffering. Creating hopes, the United Nations has come up with Global Standards for Health-Promoting Schools.

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Only health-promoting schools are schools

These standards aim to see improvement in the wellbeing of 1.9 billion school-aged children and adolescents globally. The UN agencies – World Health Organization and UNESCO – have launched new global standards based on eight global benchmarks. Moreover, the agencies have urged all countries to make their schools health-promoting schools. The classrooms must promote life skills, cognitive and socio-emotional skills and healthy lifestyles for learners. Non-health-promoting schools will not be justifiable or acceptable any longer, said UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay.

The global standards are meant for creating schools that nurture education and health, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. They will help equip students with the knowledge and skills for their future health and well-being, employability and life prospects. Further, comprehensive health and nutrition programmes in schools bring significant impacts among students, researches have revealed. Schools contribute vitally in the well-being of students, families and their communities. There are clear evidences of connection between education and health,” Tedros added.

Health promotion and education guidelines

The new standards are being piloted in Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya and Paraguay. At this level, while the WHO targets to see one billion people healthier by 2023, the UNESCO will find help in the global Education 2030 Agenda. As interdependent basic human rights for everyone, education and health both remain at the core of any human right, said Azoulay. Both of those are essential to social and economic development, she added. So, the UN agencies expect that these health promotion in schools will include health and nutrition interventions. This comprises nutritious meal to students, regular health checkups, malaria preventive actions, free screening and eyeglasses, and handwashing motivation, etc.

With promotion of comprehensive sex education, the UN agencies targets at sexual and reproductive health and rights promotion, and reduction in HIV infection and adolescent pregnancies. Enhanced water and sanitation (WASH) services and supplies in school, and menstrual hygiene education will help girls maintain themselves with dignity. They may even miss less school while menstruating. The UNESCO chief calls for everyone to affirm their commitment and role, in making of every school a health-promoting school. The ‘Health Promoting Schools’ approach was first introduced by UN agencies in 1995 in more than 90 countries and territories. However, that has seen sluggish response so far.

health promoting schools focus on global standards, global education guidelines by who and unesco, health promoting schools approach of global standards, health promoting schools an update on global standards, health promoting schools background, benefits of health promoting schools, components of health promoting school, characteristics of health promoting school, concept of health promoting school programme, health promoting schools framework examples

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