Choose School Health Accreditation Program

The “Health Promoting School” (HPS) is a holistic and comprehensive approach to integrate health promotion within the community. It can provide an ideal setting to enhance both health and learning. It can help prevent poor dietary habits and substance abuse and can improve school performance [1, 2]. It can decrease the risk of certain problems such as eating disorders, obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer [3, 4]. In India, the Right to Education Act makes education a fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 and 14 years [5]. These are the formative years of a child’s development. The interaction between school teachers and students provides a unique opportunity for health promotion that can be sustained and reinforced over time. It is an internationally recognized fact that school is an appropriate setting to improve youth health.

Accreditation is a public recognition of the achievement of required standards by an organization. It is demonstrated through an independent assessment of that organization’s level of performance in relation to the standards.

In India, the Quality Council of India (QCI) has developed an accreditation system for school governance [6]. However, there is no organized accreditation system for HPS in India. Therefore, during 2011 to 2013, we developed an accreditation system for HPS with support from key stakeholders and implemented accreditation for HPSs in Chandigarh territory, India.

We established 24 standards of health quality assurance which serve as indicators that articulate the quality and effectiveness of health promotion which are expected of accredited schools. The indicators also provide real opportunities for action and improvement in all aspects of health promotion and is pivotal to the achievement of overall quality. Due to the collaborative efforts of many schools in Chandigarh and World NCD Federation team, we noticed a change in the standard of school, in terms of improved environments towards health and well-being.

Based on our study findings, we believe that the school health accreditation system may be effective in increasing levels of health promotion in communities.

Let us join hands to promote health at school level and pave ways to achieve health and well-being for the future of our nation! Know more about the program, its concept and process of accreditation, in the sections ahead.

Click here to connect with us for the accreditation scheme.

References:
1. World Health Organization: The Physical School Environment: An Essential Component of A Health-Promoting School.
2003, http://www.who.int/school_youth_health/media/en/physical_sch_envi ronment.pdf,
2. Deschesnes M, Martin C, Hill AJ: Comprehensive approaches to school health promotion: how to achieve broader implementation?. Health Promot Int.
2003, 18: 387-396. 10.1093/heapro/dag410.
3. Taylor JP, Evers S, McKenna M: Determinants of healthy eating in children and youth. Can J Public Health. 2005, 96 (Suppl.3): S20-S26.
4. Lynagh M, Perkins J, Schofield M: An evidence-based approach to health promoting schools. J Sch Health. 2002, 72: 300-302. 10.1111/j.1746-
1561.2002.tb01337.x.
5. Ministry of Human Resource Development: Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act. 2009, New Delhi: Act No. 35, Govt. of India, Available from http://mhrd.gov.in/rte
6. Quality council of India: National Accreditation Board for Education and Training (NABET). http://www.qcin.org/,