Health promoting school framework to be extended to post-secondary institutions

Photo above: Minister for Education Mr Heng Swee Keat at the 3rd Joint HPB-MOE CHERISH Award held earlier this morning at Republic Polytechnic.

SINGAPORE - Eight Post-Secondary Education Institutions (PSEIs) have taken the pledge to become health promoting schools, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) announced today.

These institutions are Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Nanyang Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore Institute of Management , Nanyang Technological University and the Institute of Technical Education.

This milestone means that every school in Singapore, from pre-schools to post-secondary education institutions, now has the resources to be a health promoting school.

This is in response to the alarming finding that one in five students between 13 and 18 years of age are engaging in at least four unhealthy behaviours.

These behaviours include smoking, lack of physical activity, poor mental health and unbalanced diets. HPB said that these bad habits over time will put teens at risk of developing chronic diseases later in life.

Under the Health Promoting Schools framework, HPB will support schools in spurring health promotion efforts within campus grounds by offering its expertise and free training.

In addition, PSEIs can tap on grants provided by HPB, such as the Tertiary Institutions Health Promotion Grant for schools to organise talks, workshops or roadshows to equip students and staff with knowledge about health issues.

Another grant available is the Youth Advolution for Health (YAH) Grant, available for students looking to conduct health promotion efforts or peer-led projects on various health topics.

The PSEI Healthy Campus initiative is based on CHERISH Junior, the health promoting framework for pre-schools which was officially launched in May 2012.

As a means of encouragement, pre-schools and PSEIs which demonstrate the sustainability and impact of their health promotion efforts will stand a chance to win the CHERISH Award, jointly presented by HPB and the Ministry of Education (MOE).

By the end of 2012, HPB aims to transform at least 10 per cent of all pre-schools to health promoting CHERISH Junior pre-schools. By 2015, the goal is to grow this percentage to 30 per cent.

Eventually, HPB aims to have every pre-school, primary school, secondary school and PSEI become a Health Promoting School.

yamadak@sph.com.sg

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