Essential health literacy concepts and skills have been incorporated into school health education curricula. For the continued well-being of the nation improving and teaching health literacy in schools is vital. Health knowledge and skills are integrated into the curriculum of school-age children to enhance health literacy. Implementation and adoption of standard strategies for the introduction of health education have continued to be a challenge. Health education involves practices and theories that equip learners with attitudes, knowledge, and skills needed to maintain healthy behaviors.
Methods of reducing risky health behaviors and healthy decision making are included in the components. The skills-based approach is emphasized to help students practice and support their health needs and those of other people. With this knowledge school children will be able to assess health information and make healthy decisions that promote their well-being throughout their lives.
A student’s motivation and capability are affected by health complications such as vision, asthma, hearing, teen pregnancy, lack of physical activity, poor mental health, and violence and aggressiveness. Children who are engaged in health studies show improved health behaviors, a decrease in the rates of obesity, and reduces drug usage and abuse. Teaching emotional and social skills may improve the urge to finish school and graduate, improvement in performance, and motivation to do well in schoolwork. Private and public organizations are trying to select a favorable health literacy curricula guide to be implemented from kindergarten to 12th grade. The guidelines will act as reference material to educators and they specify what is expected at each level of schoolwork.
Health education field experts recommend that the health education curricula emphasize four core elements namely shaping norms that value a healthy lifestyle, teaching essential health knowledge that promotes healthy values and behaviors, developing and adopting necessary health skills, and sustain health improvement behavior. Some characteristics of an effective health literacy curriculum are
- Has clear health goals focus and behavioural related outcomes
- They are research and theory-based
- Addresses values, beliefs, attitudes, norms, and supports health-improving behaviors of an individual and a group.
- Outlines the effects of taking part in unhealthy practices and behaviors.
- Is simple, accurate, and contributes directly towards healthy decision-making and behavior.
Most of the health education offered in schools is of low standards and is limited. The educators face a lot of challenges such as a lack of understanding of health education and physical education. Physical education teachers are assumed to be qualified to teach health education, yet the two fields differ. For efficient health education, there is a need for interdisciplinary collaboration between those involved in the health sector. For effective and efficient health school instruction, there is a need for education to be offered by graduated health educators from certified health education teacher programs and accredited in health education. The teachers’ health literacy is an important factor in ensuring the quality of health education given to children is standard.
The health actions of students and those around them if contributed to by the increase in health literacy. An effort is needed to fill the gap between health education and health literacy. Expertise is needed to provide students ways of acquiring health information and developing the required skills to understand health. Being health literate helps in preventing the increased spread of chronic diseases, getting lifelong habits and skills that also contribute to bettering community health. To reduces the challenges and enhance health practices among future generations collaboration and improvement of health education and literacy is mandatory. Approaches needed to be applied to realizing this goal are
- Implementation of key leadership principles within education systems.
- Training and evaluating professionals who pass health education to school children at all levels.
- Including young people in the development of health information and materials to ensure interest and utility.
- Finding out and sharing any effective and replicable efforts employed.
To forge a path to a healthier generation, leaders should have passion, wisdom, commitment, vision, and unity in enhancing health literacy and health education. An example is leaders of higher education who have ensured that health literacy is the main part and a component of higher education. Health literacy skills will help children to live a healthier life and therefore should be introduced in early education in children, adolescents, and youth.to improve health literacy research need to be done to find out what tools can be effective and what barriers there are in providing health education. Funding opportunities for research work can also contribute greatly to realizing a better health education plan.