Good health is the key to good performance — in classroom and in life. The CBSE is now all set to promote this belief among students across the country under the Comprehensive School Health Programme developed in association with the World Health Organisation. In the latest step towards implementing this health policy, CBSE has prepared four health manuals for schools which have various activities to create health awareness among students from kindergarten to class XII.
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If the schools respond well to CBSE's initiative, health will become a co-curricular aspect of education from this session itself. CBSE has already sent out circulars to schools informing them about the manuals, which are based on six themes — knowing your body, food and nutrition, personal and environmental hygiene, physical fitness, being responsible and safe, and behaviour and life skills. “The manuals are holistic in their approach since they deal with not only physical health but also mental, social, emotional and spiritual well being,'' stated CBSE secretary Vineet Joshi.
There are separate manuals for students in classes I-V, VI-VIII and IX-XII. While for younger students, the manual focuses on making them aware of the importance of health and nutrition, the activities for adolescents aim at understanding changes in the body and developing life skills. According to CBSE, these activities can be conducted under a health club that can be formed in all schools.
The health programme will not be a part of the syllabus and so, children will not be evaluated on these activities. But CBSE has asked schools to regularly monitor the health of students by maintaining a health card. “CBSE wants schools to make a health card for each student so that changes in their health or behaviour can be recorded over the years,'' said Usha Ram, principal, Laxman Public School. She added it would be better if CBSE made the health programme, a part of the curriculum for implementing it in the right earnest. The programme also recommends making the menu for school canteens more nutritious and organic.