UNESCO and WHO help schools improve the health and well-being of 1.9 billion schoolchildren

MADRID, 22 Jun. (EUROPA PRESS) –

UNESCO and the World Health Organization (WHO) have launched Global Standards for Health-Promoting Schools, a resource pack for schools to improve the health and well-being of 1.9 billion school-age children and adolescents.

And, the closure of many schools around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic has caused serious interruptions in education and, in particular, significantly higher rates of stress, anxiety and other mental health problems have been observed.

“Schools play a vital role in the well-being of students, families and their communities, and the link between education and health has never been more evident. These newly launched global standards are designed to create schools that foster education and health, and equip students with the knowledge and skills for their future health and well-being, employability and life prospects, “said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Based on a set of eight global standards, the resource pack aims to ensure that all schools promote life skills, cognitive and social-emotional skills, and healthy lifestyles for all students. These global standards will be tested in Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Paraguay.

“Education and health are basic interdependent human rights for all, at the core of any human right and essential for social and economic development. A school that does not promote health is no longer justifiable or acceptable. I ask all of us to affirm our commitment and our role, to make each school a health promoting school “, explained UNESCO Director General Audrey Azouley.

Global standards provide a resource for education systems to help promote health and well-being through stronger governance. UNESCO and WHO will work with governments to enable countries to tailor the package to their specific contexts, as comprehensive school health and nutrition programs in schools have a significant impact on school-age children.