Bal Bharati Public Schools As Health Promoting Schools
A dream realized..............
"We achieve our greatest happiness when we realize ourselves through others. Equally, we need to reaffirm our commitment of cultural and socio-economic diversity from which children enter into the portals of the school.”
"Health Promoting Schools are schools which display and support the commitment to enhance the emotional, social, physical and moral well-being of their school community" (WHO).
Schools play a vital role in the overall development of a child thus shaping him/her into a competent adult who contributes usefully to society. Health is an important aspect of development of children and education is an important determinant of health. Almost all children attend school at some time during their lives and spend 6 -7 hours of their time every day in that learning environment. Apart from this, the school curriculum can have substantial influence on health promoting behaviours. Schools are often the strongest social and educational institutions available for execution of intervention programmes, as they have the required structure and governance. They have profound influence on thinking patterns and behaviours of children, their families and the community in general. When teachers are actively involved in school health programmes, the interventions can reach generations of children. Parents are added resources for health promotion in schools.
Key steps undertaken in developing Bal Bharati Public Schools as a Health Promoting School:
Engaging health and educational officials, teachers, students, parents and community leaders in efforts to promote health in schools
Providing a safe and healthy environment, both physical and psycho-social
Providing effective skill based Health Education and Life Skills training
Providing access to health services (child and adolescent)
Implementing school policies and good practices that support health
Safety Perspectives In Schools
“I have the right to be myself and to have the freedom to learn, work and play without having my heart, my head or my body hurt.”
- Christina Mattise
Initiating their children into formal schooling can be quite an emotional moment for parents. The realization of the stellar role played by an educational institution in a pupil's life imbues parents with the confidence of entrusting the responsibility of educating their wards to complete strangers. The school as looked upon by parents and society at large is not just an edifice but a nurturing cocoon that moulds students who eventually emerge as enlightened and successful individuals on completion of their schooling years.
Given the kind of faith and trust reposed in it, the onus rests entirely on the school to provide an environment which is conducive to the development of the child; an environment that allows all students to achieve their maximum potential-academically, personally and socially. The primary task of a school is undoubtedly imparting of education to its pupils. However, academic success is inextricably linked with the physical, mental and psychological health of the student. It would be naive to expect learning outcomes in case the student perceives a threat to his safety and well-being at school. An unpleasant or traumatic experience in school can scar a child for life.
At this juncture it is imperative to realize and accept that schools have not always proved to be safe havens. Though the danger to a child's physical safety may be most palpable, it is crucial to realize the importance of emotional and psychological health of a child. Creating safe schools involves more than just the physical safety of students. A nurturing emotional environment is acceptance for fostering growth and development. The sense of belonging, self esteem and acceptance that accrues from an appropriate emotional environment significantly contributes to success and achievements.
In the face of the alarming rise in the spate of incidents that threaten school safety, all Bal Bharati Schools address the issue of safety, keeping it on top priority. The foremost step is to identify the areas or factors that pose a threat to students' safety. While enlisting the same, utmost care is taken to include factors both within and outside the school environment. The overarching challenge is to provide an environment devoid of any real or perceptible threat. Our experience over the years as educators and administrators has provided us with an insight and understanding of the myriad factors that may endanger safety and hamper development. Though safety concerns are school specific and may assume diverse forms, there are certain broad parameters which can be considered as relevant to all. We have endeavored to enumerate a few measures that are vital to countering threat and cultivating a safe environment.