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Health Promoting School: The Views Of Rural School. Juda Maluleke. Introduction.

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Presentation Transcript
  • How I came across the health promoting school initiative: In 1996 a friend of mine told me she was attending a conference about health promoting schools in Cape Town. All I could say was “Happy landing”. Then I did not even suspect that as a principal of a school this could affect me.
The concept kept on coming back until I read about it in some of her papers. Then only did I realise that it affects me and many other people I live and work with. I wanted to find more from my colleagues and from literature. This is what I got.
what is health promoting schools
What is health promoting schools

Health promoting schools is an in initiative of World Health Organisation which “strives to build health into all aspects of life at a school and in the community “.

According to School health policy and Implementation Guidelines 2003 of the Department of health, one of the objectives of school health, among others is

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HPS continue

“to support educators and the entire school community by creating health promoting schools”

  • To me a healthy school is the one in which learners have access to clean water, sanitation and nutritious food. I believe this is an ideal explanation.
why am i at this conference
Why am I at this conference
  • It is for this reason that I am here today. I am a Principal of Nkami secondary school in Nwadzekudzeku, a rural village 180km North East of Polokwane in The Limpopo Province.
  • In this school, there is no water at all and most of the times in the village too.
  • We still use pit toilets
  • I cannot say our kids do not have nutritious food but I have many reasons to believe so.
the reality of our situation
The reality of our situation
  • Our school buildings are actually a threat to the lives of the people who use them myself included.
  • In short ours is not a health promoting school despite the fact that this initiative was launched 10 years ago.
In 1999 the Ministry of education launched a five-year plan ‘Tirisano’ to Transform the Education plan in South Africa. Health need is one of the areas was to be addressed.
  • When I went around trying to find out what my colleagues in the neighbouring schools new about ‘Health promoting schools’ and ‘Tirisano’, Not a single Principal among those whom I have contacted new about the Health promoting schools.
Two Senior Education Specialists in the Regional office also knew nothing about it. This, I believe Mr./Madam Chair justifies my belief that many principals in the region know nothing about the initiative. I could not get the District Senior Manager. It could have been very interesting to get his view.
interesting views
Interesting views
  • With ‘Tirisano’, I got two different and interesting views. One is that “It is an initiative of the Department (of education) to get the SGB’s, SMT's Educators, Parents and learners to work together”. The other is that Tirisano “is Sub-directorate in the Department of education which is responsible for the organization of Tirisano Music competition”.
activities of doh in our schools
Activities of DOH in our schools
  • However, the Health Department is visibly doing something about the health of our learners. They visit us regularly to conduct, especially TB an HIV and AIDS campaigns and to encourage people to get checked.
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DOH continue
  • Of late they even conduct health assessment among learners. The latest, which was a month ago revealed that 17 of our learners in grades 8 and 9 had Bilharzia. This, they said was caused by unclean water. The kids were referred.
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DOH continue
  • At the school level, we have Life Orientation as a learning area.This learning area addresses a lot of health issues which in the past was taboo to talk about.
To conclude Mr./Madam chair, It is my strong view that principals of schools need to be involved in matters that affect schools, especially when they are expected to play an important role in the implementation process of such matters.