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Strategies

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Strategies: Given the multidimensional nature of health, there are many opportunities for cross-curricular learning and integration....


Strategies:

Given the multidimensional nature of health, there are many opportunities for cross-curricular learning and integration. Activities such as the National Service Scheme, Bharat Scouts and Guides, and the National Cadet Corps are some such areas. The sciences provide opportunities for learning about physiology, health and disease, and the interdependencies between various living organisms and the physical habitat. The social sciences could provide insights into community health as well as an understanding of the spread, control and cure of infectious diseases from a global socio-economic perspective. This subject lends itself to applied learning, and innovative approaches can be adopted for transacting the curriculum. 

The importance of this subject to overall development needs to be reinforced at the policy level, with participation by administrators, other subject teachers in schools, the Health Department, parents and children. Recognising this subject as a core subject Health and Physical Education must continue to be a compulsory subject from the primary, to the secondary stages, and as an optional subject at the higher secondary stage. However, it needs to be given equal status with other subjects, a status that is not being given at present. In order to transact the curriculum effectively, it is essential to ensure that the minimum essential physical space and equipment are available in every school, and that doctors and medical personnel visit school regularly. Teacher preparation for this area needs well-planned and concerted efforts. This subject area, consisting of health education, physical education and yoga, must be suitably integrated into the elementary and secondary pre-service teacher education courses. The potential of the existing physical education training institutes should be reviewed and utilised adequately. Similarly, their appropriate syllabi and teacher training for transaction of yoga in schools need to be reviewed and reformulated. It is also essential to ensure that these concerns are integrated into the activities of the National Service Scheme, the Scouts and Guides, and the National Cadet Corps. 

The 'needs-based approach' could guide the dimensions of the physical, psychosocial and mental aspects that need to be included at different levels of schooling. A basic understanding of the concerns is necessary, but the more important dimension is that of experience and development of health, skills and physical well being through practical engagement with play, exercise, sports, and practices of personal and community hygiene. Collective and individual responsibilities for health and community living need to be emphasised. Several national health programmes like Reproductive and Child Health, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Mental Health have been targeting children as a focus group with prevention in view. These demands on children need to be integrated into existing curricular activities rather than adding these on. 

Yoga may be introduced from the primary level onwards in informal ways, but formal introduction of yogic exercises should begin only from Class VI onwards. All interventions, including even health and hygiene education, must rely on the practical and experiential dimensions of children's lives. There may be more emphasis on the inclusion of sports and games from the local area. 

It should be possible to organise the utilisation of school space, at the block level at least, for special sports programmes both before school hours and after school hours to enable children with special talents for sports to come here for special training and during vacation periods. It should also be possible to develop these sports facilities so that many more children can avail of these for leisure-time sports activities and engage with team games such as basketball, throwball, volleyball, and local forms of sports.
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CLEAR CTET: Strategies
Strategies
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