Dholpur DC emerges as champion to promote health education among adolescents
Jaipur: At a time when health is becoming a priority the world over, a district in Rajasthan is taking steps to ensure health education is a crucial part of school teaching from a very young age. Shri Rakesh Kumar Jaiswal, District Collector, Dholpur, Rajasthan has been a champion in the state for promoting initiatives to improve knowledge on reproductive health among students in classes 9 to 12.
On Tuesday, November 24,Shri Jaiswal took another major step by inauguratingthe launch of Training of Teachers on Adolescent Health Curriculum at Government Senior Secondary School, PuraniChaawani, Dholpur. The curriculum for the training has been developed under the CIFF funded project Udaan of IPE Global Ltd. IPE Global Ltd. is a development sector consultancy.
The curriculum for the trainings covers six priority areas of the Government’s RashtriyaKishorSwasthyaKaryakram (RKSK) which includes topics of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH), Nutrition, Mental Health, Injuries, Domestic and Gender Based Violence, Substance Misuse and Non-Communicable Diseases.
While inaugurating the training, Shri Jaiswal said that this is a first step to reach out to adolescents and address their health related needs comprehensively during this important phase of their growth. I feel that reproductive health education imparted to students in schools will percolate to families, neighbourhoods and the community at large for the ultimate good. This will also help prevent child marriages and related adolescent pregnancies and mitigate the socio-economic burden that it brings along,” he said.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between District Administration, Dholpur and IPE Global in July on district-wide scale up of UdaanTaRA program.
IPE Global and Manjari Foundation have been working closely with Departments of Health and Education on effective scale-up of UdaanTaRA (Teach and Raise Adolescents) in all 278 Secondary and Senior Secondary Schools of Dholpur District. The program focuses on enhancement of knowledge, attitude and practices among adolescents, around sexual and reproductive health along with other key aspects of adolescent health through trained teachers from each school, who would be taking up sessions with adolescent students as soon as schools reopen.
The trainings have been planned in a cascade model with Master Trainers being trained by National/ State level experts at and in collaboration with State Institute of Health & Family Welfare (SIHFW), Jaipur.
Under the guidance of Shri Jaiswal, almost 282 school principals from districts all over Rajasthan have been oriented on the issue through video conferencing on the issue of adolescent health in the past month. Over 560 teachers have been oriented in small meetings of less than 20 participants and they will now be trained to take this initiative forward.
The scale up is based on a successful pilot to improve knowledge on reproductive health among students in classes 9 to 12 in the last academic year in 66 schools of Bari block of Dhaulpur.
Global and national evidence show that school-based education on topics of reproductive health, nutrition and issues like gender stereotyping, unhealthy relationships and concepts like the importance of consent in a relationship helps develop children’s control over the situations and experiences that affect their lives and empower them to deal with the real challenges in today’s world.