|Basic Science and Health Education for Primary Schools, Uganda (UNICEF, 1992, 162 p.)|
The teaching of Health Education in Lower Classes of our Primary Education, is very important as far as the improvement of health in our society is concerned. A healthy society is that in which its members have not only acquired correct knowledge, skills and attitudes on health, but they are also putting all these into practice.
As a teacher in Lower Primary, your role in bringing up young citizens practising healthful living, and hence contributing to healthier society cannot be over emphasized. At this stage you are dealing with persons who have not yet hardened their beliefs and attitudes towards many health concepts depending upon the home environment. Your important duty as it is in any subjects is to help these children acquire the basic knowledge and skills so as to enable them to form good health habits. A good foundation to healthy living must be ensured at this level.
In teaching health education, you should keep the following aspects in your mind about your children. First, you are helping these children to grow up healthy and also learn to keep those they care for healthy. Secondly, the children you are teaching are potential change agents as far as health is concerned. They should, therefore, receive an encouragement from you, their teacher, to carry out this duty. This, you can achieve by first of all providing these children with correct knowledge and skills on health. This book will help you in this respect. Furthermore, you should be as practical as possible when teaching health education. Planned good play opportunities could be used to teach and learn Health Education. Many of the ideas considered in this book can very well be understood when demonstration method of teaching is applied. Hence use it and also let the children carry out the same demonstrations to ensure their proper understanding of the ideas being learnt.
More will be said about the teaching of health education in latter chapters. You should not however lose sight of Health Parades as an instrument for ensuring that the children practise what they have learnt. Such Parades should form part of everyday routine and should be made part of other curriculum subjects like Physical Education.
Lastly, children will receive encouragement from you if you practise what you teach. You, your family and your home environment should all exhibit healthful living. You should be a "pace-setter" as far as matters related to health are concerned. Such a condition will make the community more receptive to the ideas related to health since you, being referred to by the change agents (children) are positively showing a healthful living.
Take special interest in children under your care. You should try to detect health problems from your children as early as possible so as to facilitate their early treatment. This might mean a lot on their future health. Particular attention should be paid to detection of difficulties in seeing and hearing among your children. They should also be helped to develop the skill of observation and an attitude of awareness of safe learning and living environment.
Lastly, be persistant in matters related to health. Children will develop desirable attitudes only when such attitudes are not interfered with by inconsistence on the part of the "model". You may also read the Foreword to Teachers' Guide on Health Education, Volume 2 for Primary 5, 6, and 7 for further guidance.
Mr. Y. Ajal Omilo
AG. CHIEF INSPECTOR OF SCHOOLS
Ministry of Education,