Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro graced the simple formal launching ceremony with Dr. Ramon Bacani, Center Director, SEAMEO INNOTECH and Dr. Bella Monse of the German Technical Aid GIZ during the 11th National School Health and Nutrition Congress of DepED in Teacher’s Camp, Baguio City.

Earlier, a kick off country consultation visits to 3 MOEs of Lao PDR, Indonesia, and Cambodia was conducted by GIZ team led by Dr. Bella Monse and SEAMEO INNOTECH Capacity Development Unit Senior Specialist, Mrs. Yolanda de Las Alas. The visits received warm support at different levels of project readiness.  With success of the Fit for School program in the country, the Philippines will be playing a leadership role in modelling its successful Fit for School program model as a South technology transfer modality under this project.

“Fit for School” works with DepEd and the LGUs to promote the Essential Health Care Program (EHCP) of three basic hygiene practices to schoolchildren: (1) hand-washing, (2) toothbrushing, and (3) de-worming.   “Fit for School” is the perfect partner to the school feeding program which has registered documented evidence to contribute to the increase in school attendance.  The EHCP was one of the key topics at DepEd’s 11th National School Health and Nutrition Congress on Dec. 6-8 in Baguio City with some 700 participants – medical officers, nurses, dentists, nutritionist-dieticians, medical assistants, and education supervisors on health and nutrition.

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development BMZ (GIZ) and SEAMEO INNOTECH agreed to work together on the development of effective school health programmes in the participating countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Philippines) using the Fit for School (FFS) concept and experience in implementing the Essential Health Care Program  (EHCP) of DepEd in the Philippines. This international cooperation hopes to strengthen the formal school system’s capacity to manage an effective school health program by integrating the Fit for School-EHCP concept into the over-all framework of School-Based Management (SBM) in selected schools in Southeast Asia. It will develop course modules and other education products on different aspects of school health management in SEAMEO INNOTECH’S portfolio of activities. Develop active school-health dialogue within the regional education network and prepare joint publications on different aspects of school health. At the ministry level, the project aims to strengthen school health capacities at the national, district/division and monitor, evaluate, and plan for scaling up.

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