Resolution on Health Promotion and School Health
The Second World Congress of Education International, meeting in Washington D.C., U.S.A., from 25 to 29 July 1998:
1. Profoundly concerned by the rapid expansion of infectious and transmittable diseases, which pose an enormous threat to healthy human development on the planet as a whole and which can affect the social, economic and political stability of countries;
2. Particularly alarmed by the growing number of adolescents confronted with particularly difficult situations that expose them to numerous health risks;
3. Convinced that education and health are mutually complementary and reinforcing;
4. Convinced that the school is the irreplaceable and most useful place in a country for the improvement of both health and education;
5. Convinced that the state of health affects learning and success at school and that health education should give children the essential skills to enable them to make choices and adopt behaviour that will determine their health for their rest of their lives;
6. Recalling the joint declaration "Education and health: an alliance for development" signed with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations HIV/AIDS Joint Programme (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on the occasion of the 45th International Conference on Education in 1996;
7. Considering the "Global School Health Initiative" launched by the WHO as a relevant initiative to increase the number of school establishments involved in the promotion of health;
8. Recalling the Jakarta Declaration on leading health promotion into the 21st century (adopted in 1997), which reaffirms that health is a basic human right and an indispensable factor in economic and social development;
9. Expressing its delight that EI has been invited by UNAIDS to become one of the partners in the 1998 international campaign against AIDS, which targets people under the age of 24 years.
The Congress immediately calls upon governments:
10. To adopt and implement concerted global policies of health development;
11. To strengthen policies and resources to support the promotion of school health;
12. To actively promote a global policy of health education including the prevention of HIV/AIDS and STDs, above all by the implementation of genuine sex education;
13. To reinforce and broaden the partnerships for health based on solidarity, transparency, respect and recognised and accepted ethical principles, particularly with developing countries;
14. To pay specific attention to children and adolescents faced with difficult situations;
15. To eliminate all forms of discrimination at school and at work and all forms of exclusion which could be connected with the state of health or genetic characteristics.
The Congress calls upon the member organisations of Education International to:
16. Play an active role in the development of school health education policies in close collaboration with the ministries of education and health or oppose their plans when they are destructive of school health services;
17. To take more account of the crucial role that the school system and workers in education as a whole can play, through health education, particularly with regard to the prevention of HIV/AIDS and STDs and the prevention of drug abuse;
18. To become more involved at every stage of the conception, implementation and evaluation of school health programmes;
19. To take action to ensure that all educational workers receive initial and in-service training, enabling them to promote health and health education;
20. To combat all forms of discrimination and exclusion affecting pupils, students or workers in education affected by HIV/AIDS or because of their genetic characteristics;
21. To establish or develop contacts with parents and health professionals at local or national level and where necessary, take action to ensure the recruitment of doctors and nurses to work in schools to provide specific medical services;
22. To commit themselves, especially in the framework of the "health promoting schools" networks, to making the school a healthy place that offers a reliable infrastructure that guarantees protection from diseases, violence and harmful substances.
Role of Education International:
23. Pursue and strengthen its collaboration with the institutions within the United Nations system, particularly the WHO, UNAIDS and UNESCO;
24. Actively participate in international events relating to the promotion of health, health education and the prevention of HIV/AIDS, STDs and drugs, and in the organisation of regional and international consciousness raising events aimed at the general public, workers in education and young people on questions relating to health education;
25. Collect as much information and informative material as possible on these questions and pass it on to the member organisations;
26. Pursue and strengthen the introduction of themes on every aspect of health education in cooperation and development programmes.