DISCUSS THE SCHOOL HEALTH PROGRAMS AS A COMMUNITY HEALTH INTERVENTION STRATEGY. SUGGEST WAYS OF INCREASING ITS EFFECTIVENESS.
A Schools Health Program is an integrated set of planned, sequential, school affiliated strategies, activities and services designed to promote the optimal physical, emotional and education development of students. The program involves and is supportive of families and is determined by the local community based on community needs, resources, standards and requirements. It is coordinated by a multidisplinary team and accountable to the community for program quality and effectiveness (The National Academics 2014).
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Next to the family, schools are the major institution for providing the instruction and experiences that prepare young people for their roles as healthy, productive adults. Schools can and inevitably do play a powerful role in influencing students’ health-related behaviours. Elementary, middle, and secondary schools are therefore prime setting for public health programming. Appropriate school interventions can foster effective education, prevent destructive behaviour and promote enduring health practices. For many young people in their formative years, school may in fact be only nurturing and supportive place where they learn health information and have positive behaviour consistently reinforced.
In addition, health and success in school are inextricably intertwined. Good health facilitates children’s growth, development and optimal learning, while education contributes to children’s knowledge about being health. Studies of young people have found that health-risk behaviours negatively affect (i) education outcomes including graduation rates, class grades and performance standardized tests, (ii) education behaviours including attendance, dropout rates, behavioural problems and degree of involvement in school activities such as homework and extracurricular pursuits and (iii) students attitudes, including aspirations for postsecondary education, feelings about safety at school and positive personal attitudes.
Schools cannot achieve their primary mission of education if students and staff are not health and fit physically, mentally and socially. Children who are sick, hungry, abused, using drugs, who feel that nobody cares, or who may be distracted by family problems are unlikely to learn well. On child’s lack of progress can impede the learning of the other children in the classroom as well. Education reform efforts are bound to be of limited effectiveness unless health-related barriers to learning are directly addressed. As Harriet Tyson writes, ‘First among those barriers are poor physical and mental health conditions that prevent students from showing up for school, paying attention in class, restraining their anger, quieting their self-disruptive impulses and refraining from dropping out. When surveyed, most parents and members of the general public consistently rate health as an important topic that schools should address.
School Health Programs as a community health intervention strategy seeks to mobilise and strengthen health promotion and education activities at the local, national regional and global levels. It is designed to improve the health of students, school personnel, families and other members of the community through schools such as alcohol and substance abuse, violence and antisocial behaviour decrease as parent involvement increases. Students are less likely to succeed when communities are economically deprived, disorganised and lack opportunities for employment or youth involvement, when families do not set...