NEW DELHI: The Centre is set to designate two teachers each in every government school across the country as “Health and Wellness Ambassadors”.
Under the project, which will be jointly run by the Union Health and Family Welfare and Human Resources Development ministries, these teachers will be trained to educate school kids on preventive healthcare.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to launch the initiative next month under “Ayushman Bharat” scheme, through a pilot project in 115 most backward districts in the country, which have recently been re-christened as “aspirational districts”, government sources said.
Officials in the HRD ministry said that an expert committee, comprising of officials from the two ministries, World Health Organisation, United State Agency for International Development and some other development agencies has been formed and the deliberations are on to give a final shape to the project.
“The aim is to create a system in place so that school children are taught and kept abreast with measures to remain healthy and fit and for this, involving teachers emerged as the most viable and practical choice,” said an HRD official.
The schools will be asked to nominate two teachers each who will then be trained at state levels and will be incentivised every month for the additional responsibility. The amount of incentive, however, is yet to be finalised.
“These teachers will educate children on subjects like need for exercise, hygiene, balanced diet, exposure to sunlight, physical activities, ways to avoid contagious and lifestyle diseases among others. They will also guide students on ways to improve mental health,” another official explained.
A health ministry official associated with the project said that such programmes have been followed in schools and universities in several developed countries and studies have shown that they lead to remarkable changein over-all well being of students over a period of time.
The initiative has come at a time when the government has declared that school children are overburdened with bulky curricula and has decided to reduce theory contents from Class 1-XII NCERT syllabi and stress more on physical and value education.