|Health Education Syllabus Grade III Teachers' College In Uganda (SHEP, 63 p.)|
It is common knowledge that much of the illness, disability and suffering in our society is self-inflicted. This is so because most of our health problems arise from ignorance and perhaps backwardness. Our children are perturbed by preventable diseases and malnutrition. Those who survive and become adults fall sick because of poor sanitation and bad health practices that could otherwise be avoided.
In order to alleviate this situation, Government has tackled it in a number of ways notable of which are financial inputs and soliciting assistance from friendly countries and the Non Governmental organisations. In doing this, notable achievements have been realised in the case of the six killer diseases through preventive measures like immunisation, adult literacy campaigns, Primary Health Care and the like. However, today with the onslaught of the HIV/AIDS scourge, this gives the Government yet another challenge.
It is important to recall here that prior to the mid-eighties, Health Education programmes were concentrated in the Ministry of Health and mainly focussed on adult population. However, realising that this process was rather slow and that the process of habit formation can best be done during the early years of life, it was deemed necessary to address the issue through the joint effort between the Ministries of Health and that of Education and Sports. This gave birth to the creation of the School Health Education Project commonly known as SHEP.
This Inter-ministerial, inter-sectoral approach led to the formation of an Inter-ministerial Advisory Panel, to plan, oversee, monitor and evaluate the project activities.
So far this panel through its various sub-committees has produced the following instructional materials:
(i) Basic Primary Science and Health Education Syllabus for Primary Schools.
(ii) Teachers Guides Volume 1 and 2 for this syllabus.
(iii) A number of Health Kits to supplement this syllabus like those on immunization, AIDS, Control of Diarrhoeal Diseases, and Sanitation e.t.c.
(iv) Pupils Books 1 to 7 to accompany this syllabus. All these instructional materials are already in use in Primary schools.
As it is the usual practice in Curriculum development, when a new syllabus like this one is introduced, two strategies are always employed to enable the teachers to effectively use the syllabus. Such strategies are:
(i) Mounting of In-service courses for those teachers already serving in the field.
(ii) Pr-service training courses for the student - teachers in the Teacher Training Colleges.
These strategies are done in realisation of the principle outlined in the current Kajubi Education Review Report p. 97 on Teachers and Teacher Education that The quality of Education of any country depends to a large extend on the quality of its teachers.
In fulfillment of the above strategies, In-service courses have been conducted since 1988 and todate about 10,000 primary teachers have gone through these orientation courses. However, while this number appears quite big, on the ground, this is one SHEP trained Teacher per primary school, government aided or private.
In order therefore, to ensure sustainability and production of more teachers, the pre-service strategy has been planned through preparation of this Health Education syllabus for the Grade III Primary Teachers Colleges.
This syllabus is based on the 17 units of the Basic Science and Health Education Syllabus in use in Primary Schools.
However, each unit is enriched with more content for the benefit of the teacher.
There are also other content units not found in the Primary school syllabus namely, Essential Drugs and Traditional Practices of Medicine.
There are two special units on Methods of Teaching and the conduct of school Teaching Practice.
Therefore, as a teacher educator, you should familiarise yourself with this syllabus and all the instructional materials already in use and those still to come. And as you use this syllabus to prepare your students to teach Health Education in Primary Schools, remember that you are supposed to be a model of acceptable health knowledge, attitudes, skills and behaviours.
Health Education is a practical subject, and therefore it is equally important to always remember to be practical in all your presentations. It is through this practical approach that proper health habits will be formed which is the aim of this syllabus.
It is also important to note that Health messages are always accurate and conform to acceptable Health Education principles and that the ultimate consumers of these messages who are supposed to undergo acceptable changes of behaviour are the children and through them, their parents and the community.
COMMISSIONER FOR EDUCATION - INSPECTORATE
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND SPORTS