SEAMEO INNOTECH proactively develops innovative educational solutions to concerns encountered by schools and schools heads of Southeast Asia, one of which is the high prevalence of diseases experienced by school-age children. According to the World Health Organization, the Southeast Asian Region covers approximately 25% of the total world population and harbors almost 30% of the global disease burden.
The link between health and education has been established over the decades by research and experience. Poor health and malnutrition affect children’s enrollment in school, retention, cognition, and educational performance. This connection was especially recognized during the first World Conference on Education for All in Jomtien, Thailand in 2000. Policy makers, education and health specialists realize that health is a condition for learning to occur and it is also an outcome of effective quality education.
SEAMEO INNOTECH, in partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, developed a flexible learning course named Health Management Excellence for Southeast Asian School Heads (HEALTHeXCELS). The course is a response to the attainment of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. MDGs highlight child health, epidemics of certain communicable diseases, and water and sanitation as some of the priority areas that must be addressed. The MDGs give high prominence to health as health is an important contributor to several other goals. This is evidenced by the fact that 6 out of the 8 Development Goals, 9 of the 21 targets, and 23 of the 58 indicators relate directly to health.
HEALTHeXCELS also caters to the felt need of educators as manifested in the Competency Framework for Southeast Asian School Heads. This framework was developed and validated by the 10 member states of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization. The course corresponds particularly to the sub-competency “promote primary health care” under Strand E of the Competency Framework, Creating the Learning Environment.
The two self-instructional flexible modules of HEALTHeXCELS have been developed, undergone several revisions, and been reviewed by education experts from SEAMEO INNOTECH and content experts from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in 2013.
The course was first pilot-tested with school heads from all SEAMEO member countries in August 2014. The first batch of learners concluded their program in November of 2014.
With the global pandemic in 2020, SEAMEO INNOTECH and GIZ decided to offer the course for free to further help teachers and school heads in improving their knowledge and skills on managing school-based health programs.
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