Programmes » Health Promotion

Health Promotion

 Health Promotion aims to create a healthy school environment by promoting the general health and wellbeing of learners and educators, and by addressing key health and social barriers to learning in order to promote effective teaching and learning.


Strategic Objectives

  • To increase knowledge and awareness of health promoting behaviours.
  • To develop systems for the mainstreaming of care and support for teaching and learning; and
  • To increase sexual and reproductive health knowledge, skills and decision making among learners, educators and school support staff;
  • To facilitate early identification and treatment of health barriers to learning; and
  • To increase knowledge and awareness of health promoting behaviours.


Alcohol and Drug Use Prevention and Management Programme

The Department currently implements an alcohol and drug use prevention and management programme. The programme is integrated into the school curriculum via the Life Orientation/Life Skills subject area. This is supported by co-curricular activities implemented through Peer Education programmes. The programme adopts a public health approach and involves interventions to creating an enabling environment for policy implementation, prevention interventions, early detection and treatment, care and support. The thrust of interventions by the Department are on the prevention of alcohol and drug use. However, partnerships are set up with other government departments and non-governmental organizations to facilitate access to treatment, care and support where required.


Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) Programme

The Care and Support for Teaching Learning (CSTL) Programme is a Southern African Development Community (SADC) initiative that was adopted by Education Ministers in 2008. The goal of the CSTL Programme is to realise the educational rights of all children, including those who are most vulnerable, through schools becoming inclusive centres of learning, care and support. The CSTL Programme intends to prevent and mitigate factors that have a negative impact on the enrolment, retention, performance and progression of vulnerable learners in schools by addressing barriers to learning and teaching. South Africa is one of six countries (others are Swaziland, Zambia, Madagascar, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique) implementing Phase 1 of the Programme between 2008 - 2015. In order to realize its goal, nine priority areas have been identified to address barriers to teaching and learning. These priority areas have been identified based on the policy and legislative mandate that the Department has to fulfil on care and support, as well as the most pressing needs in school communities. The priority areas are as follows: nutritional support, health promotion, infrastructure, water and sanitation ,safety and protection, social welfare services, psychosocial support, material support, curriculum support, co-curricular support.

HIV and AIDS Life Skills Education Programme

The HIV and AIDS Life Skills Education Programme finds its policy mandate from the National Policy on HIV and AIDS for Learners and Educators in Schools (1999). The programme was initiated in 2000 and is implemented in all public institutions with a focus on learners in Grades 1-12. The main objectives of the life skills programme are to integrate HIV and AIDS and relevant life skills into the school curriculum as a strategy to prevent and mitigate the spread of HIV infection, and to provide care and support for learners that are infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. In this regard, a cross-curricular approach has been adopted. The Life Skills and HIV and AIDS Education is primarily located in the Life Orientation learning area/subject with some aspects of the programme integrated into other learning area/subjects. The HIV and AIDS Life Skills Education Programme focuses on mainly curricular activities as per the following focal areas: Educators are trained to implement Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and TB programmes for learners through the curriculum Procurement and distribution of NCS and CAPS compliant LTSM on HIV and TB Co-curricular activities on SRH and TB Advocacy activities with learners, educators and schools communities on SRH and TB Care and support activities for learners and educators.

Integrated School Health Programme (ISHP)

The Departments of Basic Education and Health are jointly implementing the Integrated School Health Programme that will extend, over time, the coverage of school health services to all learners in primary and secondary schools. The programme offers a comprehensive and integrated package of services including sexual and reproductive health services for older learners. The Health Services Package for the ISHP includes a large component of health education for each of the four school phases (such as how to lead a healthy lifestyle and drug and substance abuse awareness), health screening (such as screening for vision, hearing, oral health and tuberculosis) and onsite services (such as deworming and immunization). During 2013/2014, the programme aims to reach 700 000 learners in grades 1 4, 8 and 10 in quintile 1 and 2 schools. Learners in Grade 4 in quintile 1 schools will receive health education. All learners repeating grades in quintile 1 and 2 schools will also receive health screening.

Peer Education Programme

Peer Education is used as a strategy to role model health promoting behaviour and to shift peer norms on HIV and AIDS and other health and social issues as a support to curriculum implementation.

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