May 7, 2013, 12:00 am
A new independent subject on health could soon be introduced as part of school education by the CBSE, according to a senior health ministry official. The subject which is likely to be called Health Education will be taught to students between Class 4 and Class 10. ‘We are in advanced talks with officials of ministry of human resource development and National Council of Educational Research and Training to make this happen,’ said Jagdish Prasad, director general, health services.
In integrating education on health as part of mainstream curriculum, the government is learning a few lessons from Finland, a Nordic country, which has successfully implemented a similar programme of health teaching through its school curricula. Finland is also one of the best-performing countries globally on health indicators.
It’s believed that the move to integrate health as a part of mainstream education is inspired by the Finnish Model which has followed a similar route. It should be also noted that Finland is one of the healthiest countries on the planet. ‘Health education is integrated into environmental and natural studies in grades 1-4; in grades 5-6, it is integrated into biology and geography and into physics and chemistry. In grades 7-9, health education is an autonomous subject,’ said a case study of Finland government and World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe. The main themes of health education in Finland are growth and development, health choices in everyday life and other things.
The case study cites main themes of health education in Finland as growth and development, health in everyday choices, resources and coping skills, and health, society and culture.