Jordan Health Competent Schools Initiative (HCSI)
Youth less than 18 years old comprise (45%) of Jordan’s population, and many of them tend to practice unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, eating fatty and high sugar foods, and not being physically active. Due to the vital importance of spreading health awareness amongst this target audience the Jordan Health Competent Schools Initiative (HCSI) was implemented in cooperation with the Ministries of Health and Education, and the Armed Forces Military Culture Schools starting in 2005. HCSI aims to empower students and larger educational communities through innovative and interactive educational activities with resources designed to improve and sustain healthy lifestyles and promote future planning. Students, their siblings, parents and teachers are all involved in these activities simultaneously. Through these initiatives, participants are empowered to become agents for change who can com¬municate action-based health messages within their communities and among their peers. Moreover, this initiative works to shape community service activities and promote community outreach.
1) “Passport to My Future”: The “Passport” booklet is a special tool developed for personal reflection and future planning that also acts as a personal health diary. An electronic PDF file was uploaded on the MOE Edu-wave, thus became accessible to 1.5 Million of students, teachers, administrators and parents.
2) “The Morning Words” Booklet: This booklet is used in the morning sessions at schools and includes texts, songs and plays that promote healthy lifestyles and family planning. JHCP held several workshops for students, teachers, and counselors on this booklet.
3) “Talking Frankly” Initiative: JHCP provided Fine Hygienic Paper Company with technical assistance to develop, design and produce two booklets, one for boys and one for girls, with engaging, and interactive information about health, adolescence, puberty, and personal hygiene. The booklets were distributed to students in grades 6 through 10. Through this initiative, each participating school is asked create a project that employs healthy lifestyle messages and engages both the school and community in raising awareness about the health issues discussed in the “Talking Frankly” booklet.
4) “Living Together”: this initiative was developed in cooperation between the MOH and MOE with JHCP technical assistance. It emphasizes peaceful living, bullying and conflict resolution, and capacity building. Themes of emotional and social health and non-violence, self-esteem, coping strategies, friendship, diversity were incorporated into an interactive Kit. The Kit includes a Student Activity Book, a Manual for Teachers, and Parent Pamphlets. Several workshops were held entitled “Hand in Hand We Live Together” in selected schools.
5) “The Health Kit”: The HCSI educational packet was updated to include a variety of informational kits including a “How to Become a Health Competent School Guide, an Activity Kit, a Teacher’s Guide, a Policy Guide and all of the kits listed above.