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PROMOTING HEALTH IN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

Activities to promote health in the school setting

The Slovenian network of health-promoting schools, currently with 324 institutions (257 primary schools (57%), 60 secondary schools (48%), 7 residence halls for students (16%)), has been in operation in Slovenia since 1993. The schools function according to the principles of the European network of Schools for Health in Europe (SHE network), while also observing their own national goals. A long-term goal is to transform all schools into schools which actively and comprehensively promote health in their respective environments. The aim is to contribute to a uniform standard in the field of health promotion to be defined in acts or school legislation, which will be mandatory for all schools.

 

Healthy lifestyle models in school

The materials are intended for all interested teaching staff who wish to emphasise the contents of health in different fields by using active methods and forms of work, irrespective of whether their school is a member of the Slovenian network of health- promoting schools. The model includes model lectures for different subjects on nutrition, exercise, mental health, alcohol and tobacco for pupils from the first to the ninth grade. Guidelines for transfering the model into practice, principles and the manual ‘Minutes for Classroom Exercise’ were also published. All materials are published on the website http://www.zdravjevsoli.si/.

 

Education for health for children and adolescents – the action plan to promote health of the National Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia

Education for health for children attending school and adolescents may be implemented in health institutions (e.g. during regular systematic health examination) or in schools (healthcare professionals or educational staff may provide it).

Brief descriptions of programmes, together with the materials, with subjects such as Healthy Lifestyle of a First Grade Pupil, Spending Free Time, Growing Up, I Am in Motion, Body Weight, For Healthy and Safe Sex, are available at: http://www.ivz.si/Mp.aspx?ni=78&pi=6&_6_id=39&_6_PageIndex=0&_6_groupId=-2&_6_newsCategory=IVZ+kategorija&_6_action=ShowNewsFull&pl=78-6.0.

Within the Public Tender for Health Protection and Strengthening Programmes, the Ministry of Health regularly co-funds programmes to strengthen the physical and mental health of children and adolescents which are also implemented in schools.

Protecting and strengthening health within the education system

 

Protection and strengthening health within the educational system is essential and may significantly improve pupils’ the health and quality of life. Measures and activities in the school environment are accessible to the entire population of the young, making it easier to prevent harmful habits in the young, who are not habituated to them. The purpose of such programmes is to enable children and adolescents, according to their developmental period, to assimilate competences to maintain a healthy lifestyle and the skills to use their understanding of health and possibilities of further using the competences and skills in school, at home and later in life and at work. Health-promoting schools are investments in education and health.