Health education should be included in the basic education system. There are many countries where studying the reproductive system or premenstrual syndrome is considered a taboo. People don’t really like to talk about medical issues related to sex, about sexually transmitted diseases and about other infections of reproductive organs.
Moreover, all schools are focused on academic excellence which includes math, science, and foreign languages. There are very few considerations towards the education of children about health care and hygiene.
Importance of Health Education
Awareness about basic health needs is a basic requirement in many developed countries. That is how they are developing a good environment for children as they grow and have complete knowledge. Following are some of the advantages of health education:
- Having a positive attitude towards a healthy lifestyle
- Eating nutritious food and love it
- Having a healthy outlook towards life
- Preventing STDs among teenagers
- Having complete knowledge of sex
- Having skills for solving health-related issues
- Avoiding alcohol and drugs related problems
Problems of Health Education
The issues and trends in health education are different depending on the country and the education system. Some systems have too much freedom, and students do not care about even basic questions. On the other hand, some societies are so strict that students don’t talk about issues related to health like HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), chlamydia, etc.
However, you can find many blogs and articles that are being written about health education. Such materials and other academic already written custom essays providing access to worldwide readers. Let’s also review the following problems that are commonly faced by people:
1. Culture and tradition
In countries like India or Pakistan where people have high respect towards culture and society, they won’t do anything to disrespect it. This creates some restrictions towards sexual health and related problems in healthcare.
Later on, during teenage years when children do not understand what is happening to their body, there is the urge to experiment. This urge comes from an improper knowledge that they gain from friends or internet. And teenagers end up making mistakes that they can’t even talk about with their parents and that can even lead to suicides.
What to do:
Sex education is the key to this problem. If students know everything about the process, the consequences, then they will get involved only if they are sure. Also, knowledge about protection is quite important. Recently, a few sex education and related health education campaigns have been done, helping a lot of students.
2. Textbooks are useless
The education system is focused on getting marks and scores, and sometimes, it’s not knowledge-based. You will read about plant or animal kingdom, but they will not tell you about prevention methods for a certain disease.
Some questions like what food to avoid or what food to eat, which disease can be prevented with a healthier lifestyle or how some dangerous disease spread, will never be answered. For example, cancer is not contagious, but many students even don’t know about this. And simply, such ignorance and lack of knowledge can lead to social isolation and depression in kids who have such health problems.
What to do:
Including a course in education system about main methods of prevention and studying about how diseases spread is quite important. Using this method, students will know how to prevent some infectious disease and also they will know which diseases are not contagious so that they will not create any mental problem. Mental health is another important aspect which must be addressed.
3. Biology is introduced late
Biology as a course is introduced quite late (around 15-16 years old), and children do not understand many things related to health before studying biology. Many students have the choice of not studying biology at all. As a result, they may end up not knowing or understanding the mechanism that is required as part of basic health education.
What to do:
A basic biology course or health education course must be obligatory for all students in which they will learn basic life mechanisms and knowledge about certain diseases. Also, a part of prevention is necessary to include.
4. Technology advances rapidly
Recently, as the technology and internet have suddenly exploded, children think that they can get everything using the internet. The problem is the knowledge on the internet might not be appropriate all the time and, for sure, it can mislead the kids.
Some sources are legit, but some websites are not. Also, some advertisements are not for children. Therefore, this leads to increased curiosity among such children. But the curiosity is not answered by parents leading to life-destroying mistakes.
What to do:
Well, technology cannot be taken away, but if teenagers can talk freely about their doubts to their parents or another elder, it is another good way to be aware of health education. Also, child control on internet and “stopping advertisements” are other ways not to generate inappropriate curiosity.
Peer pressure is present in every age group. It doesn't only happen to teenagers. The lack of learning, horrible surrounding environment, bad habits and behaviors of friends as well as social media can affect the child’s health. There are instances when the child might fall into a group of friends where they are smoking, drinking alcohol or doing drugs. This is detrimental to the child in the long-run. Withdrawal and other side effects can completely destroy one’s life.
What to do:
First of all, you should be quite open so that the child comes to you and tells you about his/her friends. Instead of scolding them, tell them the bad effects and report the situation in school. The teachers must also keep an eye on all students and show teenagers how all the bad things they learned from their surroundings are wrong. Also talking about the problem is a great solution.
Health education is a basic right of every human being. Do not make it a taboo because it will just increase the number of lethalities instead of decreasing them. If students get the right knowledge about health, then this will help to prevent them from future issues.