New Delhi, Aug 6: Your child’s rude behaviour, ill health and poor performance will no longer be your worry alone. Health minister Anbumani Ramadoss plans to give a part of your burden to schools and teachers, who will soon be held equally responsible if your child eats junk food or is malnourished, bullies classmates or suffers from depression under the National School Health Programme (NSHP).
The government plans to launch the NSHP in around two months. To bring various child-related programmes run by different ministries under one umbrella, the government is consulting women and child development, human resource development, health and family welfare, youth affairs and panchayati raj ministries and also seeking opinions of child rights experts.
This comprehensive programme will cover over 21 crore students between standards I and XII studying in government and aided schools.
Under the NSHP, teachers will be trained to detect symptoms of depression, violence and stress among students and counsel them. Schools will also inculcate healthy behaviour patterns (such as practising yoga and meditation) among students.
“It (the NSHP) aims at developing an effective school health, hygiene and nutrition programme that contributes to the transformation of schools into a child-friendly and health-promoting scheme,” a health ministry official said.
Besides getting polio drops, students will be screened for opthalmic, dental conditions, skin lesions, refractive errors and hearing deficits, which are a major source of learning difficulties in schools.
“Schools are excellent catchments areas to implement child-related programmes. The scheme will also take care of malnourishment and anemia among girls by providing them micronutrients like folic acid, iron tablets, etc, to be supplied by the schools. Good health will increase enrollment and reduce absenteeism,” the official added.