Friday, 3 December 2010

Gathering Held on Health Education in Schools

The Children’s Rights Working Group, in cooperation with the Zrenjanin Constituency Office, organised a meeting on “Health Education in Schools” on 3 December at the National Assembly House.



The Children’s Rights Working Group, in cooperation with the Zrenjanin Constituency Office, organised a meeting on “Health Education in Schools” on 3 December at the National Assembly House.

The initiative to hold the gathering came from deputy Elvira Kovacs who conducted the first meeting on the topic in the form of a public hearing organised to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

In the introductory part of the meeting, the participants were addressed by the Speaker of the National Assembly and Chair of the Children’s Rights Working Group Prof. Dr Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic, who said that the initiative to introduce health education into elementary and high schools was launched due to general concern about the health of the youth and need for systematic solutions for health education in schools.

She stressed that the good ideas initiated in previous years by the ministries of health and education, with the support of international organisations, primarily UNICEF, have already given specific results and confirmed the experts’ efforts urging to define the key concept of education for health. The National Assembly Speaker pointed out that this meant that a young person should develop the awareness of the risks he/she ran by using alcohol and narcotics, exhibiting violent and other extreme behaviour, early sexual activity, physical inactivity, unhealthy nutrition and many other things. She also reminded that since 2006, more than 20 high-schools have been implementing the “Life Skills-Based Health Education” programme implemented by the Ministry of Education in cooperation with the Ministry of Health Expert Group on Youth Development and Health and the support of UNICEF.

Assistant Minister of Education in charge of secondary education Bogoljub Lazarevic spoke about the initiative on the behalf of the Ministry of Education.

Jelena Zajeganovic-Jakovljevic, Coordinator of the UNICEF Youth Programme, stressed that the results of the organisation’s research indicate that skills-based health education should be introduced into schools and address important problems which requires great dedication and time. She pointed out the importance of early recognition of risks in youth and timely reaction to unacceptable behaviour.

Epidemiologist Mila Paunic declared the introduction of health education into elementary and high-schools important for all children, adding that life skills were the ability for acceptable, positive behaviour that helped children and young people deal with life’s challenges.

Psychologist Anita Jakovljevic presented the results of the implementation of the “Education for Health” programme.

The participants commended the initiative to introduce health education into elementary and high-schools aiming to educate the youth about the consequences of risky behaviour. Some of the participants reminded that the initiative had been amply discussed in previous years and that a way should be sought to include health education into the curriculum, which was characterised as too broad and cumbersome.

Deputies, representatives of heath care institutions and youth experts, as well as representatives of non-governmental organisations took part in the debate.



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