Bid to promote health among SAR students

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 May, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 May, 2001, 12:00am

An award scheme to promote the importance of health among schoolchildren has been launched.

With the support of the Quality Education Fund (QEF), the Centre for Health Education and Health Promotion of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, together with the Hong Kong Subsidised Secondary Secondary Schools Council, the Subsidised Primary Schools Council and the Hong Kong Special Schools Council, introduced the 'Healthy Schools' programme in 1998.

This year, they were awarded $22 million by the QEF to launch a territory-wide 'Healthy Schools Award Scheme' over the next three years, involving more than 100 local primary and secondary schools.

The scheme has been endorsed by the World Health Or ganisation (WHO) Western Pacific Region.

'The health of schoolchildren has always been our concern. Recent studies have shown some worrying problems among our youth, such as obesity, the lack of physical activities, an unhealthy diet, low self-esteem and emotional stress,' said Deputy Director of Education Anthony Tong Kai-hong at the opening ceremony of the scheme.

'There is an urgent need for a comprehensive school programme promoting healthy youth development,' he said.

Also officiating at the ceremony was Dr Linda Milan, director of the Building Healthy Communities and Populations WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific.

Forty-two schools will take part in the first phase of the scheme. It is estimated that by 2004 more than 100 schools will be participating. The first assessment will take place next May.

'Since 1998 we have carried out the Healthy Schools Programme, under which 103 teachers have already graduated from a certificate course. A further 200 will be completing the course this year,' said Professor Albert Lee Dai-but, director of the Centre for Health Education and Health Promotion.

Participating schools will be assessed according to their achievements in six areas: school health policies, school physical environment, school social environment, community relationships, personal health skills and health services. Three levels of awards will be given - bronze, silver and gold.