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A Healthy School Environment for Better Education

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Schools are of major importance to individuals and societies. They are not only places for acquiring knowledge, but also environments where children and adolescents spend most of their day. As such, the school has a major effect on their physiological, physical, and intellectual health. Therefore, continuous development of the education quality is one of the most important goals of sustainable development; health is one significant aspect of this development. For this reason, school health programs have been set on action in many developed countries, and have achieved great outcomes. Nowadays, there is a trend to apply these programs in developing countries. How do these school health programs contribute to raising physically- and psychologically-fit children?

Proper Nutrition

Since early childhood, children should get used to consume healthy food, so that it becomes part of their lives. Studies have found that the type of foods consumed is a major player when it comes to fostering immunity and protection against chronic and serious diseases; such as: heart diseases, obesity, liver diseases, and cancers. Healthy food also contributes to keeping the brain, memory, and concentration active, which directly affect the education quality and performance. To achieve this purpose, nutritional programs that include offering one or more healthy meals were applied. Such programs also guarantee that children have the important breakfast meal, which they might not have at home due to lack of time or appetite. Moreover, fast food meals and unhealthy foods were forbidden at the school canteen; some classes were dedicated to educate children about food, and teach them how to prepare meals by themselves.

Physical Activities

Physical activities and morning exercises have always been part of the school day, but as marginal subjects that did not receive sufficient attention. However, nowadays, as awareness has increased about the importance of sports, physical education has become an essential subject. Some schools even include private sports academies that provide more advanced training by professional athletes. Additionally, periodic competitions are held to promote the spirit of competition and achieve high athletic levels.

Physical Health

A healthy environment can be achieved through abiding by the health conditions of architectural design of schools; such as, good ventilation and lighting. It is also achieved through providing clean water resources, as well as hygiene and cleaning tools, and training children to use them regularly. It can also be achieved through organizing vaccination programs that include providing students with as many vaccines as possible in schools, to guarantee that all children are vaccinated. It is also important to educate parents through organizing health seminars that raise awareness against common children diseases, their symptoms, and how to deal with them. Parents are also advised not to bring their children to school when sick to avoid contagion.

Crayons that include lead, dust, and water contaminated with lead are among the most common causes of lead poisoning, and the accumulation of lead in children's cells, causing serious diseases. Accordingly, health programs have put lead poisoning among its main goals; colors and school stationary containing lead are substituted by safe ones. Moreover, environment protection programs conduct examinations on water and soil to define lead concentrations and make sure they are safe for children. These examinations are conducted at schools in particular, and outside schools in general.

Psychological Health

Psychological health is as important as physical health. To achieve quality education, educational personnel should be carefully selected, and trained to use advanced educational programs that tackle dealing with different aspects of a child's psychology. All this contributes to raising a psychologically-healthy and effective person. Psychological health also involves caring about children who suffer from psychological problems in cooperation with the involved physician and the family.

 
   

e achieved at low costs. Yet, some others require copperation between the state, the international society, and individuals; mainly business men who sponsor developmental projects related to the quality of education, in addition to grants dedicated to enhancing education. Training education personnel on the selected health programs is essential to guarantee proper execution. Also, parents have to be educated and involved in the programs so that they deliver their full potential. Indeed, the saying "a healthy mind in a healthy body" has proven to be true in all ages. We only need to take all measures to turn words to action. Then, we would have healthy individuals and a healthy society.

References

dshs.texas.gov/schoolhealth/Healthy-School-Environment.aspx
epa.gov/schools
healthyschoolscampaign.org/about/our-vision

Freepik.com

*The original article was published in the SCIplanet magazine, Autumn 2019 issue.

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