2020/2021 BACK-TO-SCHOOL : SCHOOL HEALTH IN THE SPOTLIGHTS

A Workshop to Equip and Update School Health Professionals

Mens sana in corpore sano. So is the meaning of the two-day workshop organized by the Ministry of Secondary Education with the support of the Ministry of Public Health at the Teacher’s Resource Centre in Yaounde, from 25 to 26 September 2020.

The workshop aims to build the capacities of school health professionals so as to ensure a 2020/2021 school year void of Covid-19 in the Ministry of Secondary Education. This would be achieved thanks to two steering documents: a Psychopedagogical Support Guide for Students during the 2020/2021 School Year and a Nutritional Education Manual for Secondary School Students. These tools will enable stakeholders in school health to better implement health protocols used in secondary schools against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.

During the opening ceremony co-presided at by Prof Nalova Lyonga, Minister of Secondary Education, and Dr Manaouda Malachie, Minister of Public Health, experts from both ministries gave a concise presentation of the documents whose contents will be discussed in-depth during workshops.

Both ministers were satisfied with the manuals produced ahead of school resumption and in response to the prevailing health crisis. They all agreed on the key role played by health and education in the development of a country. More importantly, one can only teach healthy and sound individuals, hence the need to preserve the health of school children.

Building on the aphorism, “I live because I am clean”, Prof Nalova Lyonga commended the support enjoyed from the Ministry of Public Health in improving the living standards within the school milieu. The Minister welcomed the proposal made by the expert from the Ministry of Public Health, to have school canteen operators be delivered certifications in nutrition as a way to ascertain that school children are proposed food items with healthy nutritional contents. The promotion of healthy eating habits in school adds value to the Clean School vision in force in the Ministry of Secondary Education.

As a reminder, this capacity-building workshop is second to a first one organized by the Ministry of Secondary Education, from 10 to 11 September 2020, relating to the practice of extracurricular activities amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

A. Ngidjol

Celcom/MINESEC