The Role of Schools in Promoting Public Health Practices in Governmental Schools- Gaza Strip
Abdallah Nasser Mohammed Nassar
عبد الله نصار محمد نصار
Our children's is our future, for this reason Schools and parents should be cooperate to promote public health practices for students; promoting public health practices affect student's health, and then Affect the academic achievement of the students. This study aimed to determine the role of schools in promoting public health practices in governmental schools-Gaza strip. Moreover, the study aimed to determine the role of schools in prompting public health practices in four axes, environment, hygiene, nutrition, and health education. In addition to, this study aimed to determine whether there were differences in promoting public health practices according to demographic variables: (gender- receive specific training- age - years of experience -the directorate). Moreover, to appraise the student's and caregivers (mainly mothers) perspective regarding the role of schools in promoting public health practices, and to develop recommendations that might help in promoting public health practices. This cross-sectional study method was used a methodological triangulation provided a combination between quantitative (self- administrated questionnaire) and qualitative paradigms (focus groups discussion with students and other focus group with caregivers). The study sample was 170-school health coordinator, from governmental schools, located in Gaza Governorates in North Gaza, Gaza, Middle area, Khanyounes, and Rafah. Data shows the roles of schools in promoting public health practices. Most of study sample was agree that, there is a role for schools in promoting public health practices in the four school health axes. The relative weight of the total axes was 78.90%, and the mean equal 3.94. While the sub-areas was axis, (Nutrition) occupied the first rank with a relative weight reached 81.36%, and the mean equal 4.07. The axis (Hygiene) occupied the second rank with relative weight 79.54%, and the mean equal 3.98. The axis (Health Education) occupied the third rank with relative weight 77.87%, and the mean equal 3.89. The axis (Environment) occupied the last rank with relative weight 77.37%, and the mean equal 3.87. A statistically significance relationship was found between the role of schools in promoting public health practices and gender; there are significant differences in favor of females schools. Moreover the results demonstrated that there is a statistically significance relationship was found between the role of schools in promoting public health practices and the directorate of education; there are significant differences in favor of directorate of education in Gaza. IV Focus groups, which conducted with students and caregivers results shows that, schools play an important role in promoting public health practices. However, there is a need for more attention in school hygiene, and there is need for food program in schools. Study findings highlight the need for regular follow up for personnel and public hygiene from both school and caregivers, and the study recommended that Schools need more health education meetings for students and caregivers. In addition, Schools should offer the needs of hygiene tools, especially soaps, trash baskets, brooms, scrapers, clipping nails. Moreover, Ministry of Education and Higher Education should be more attention in training school health coordinators, prepare public health practices manual as a guide for schools, Health facilities and bathrooms need regular maintenance, environmental clubs in schools should be more activation. Students need to learn about the seriousness of obesity on human life, the importance of drinking water constantly, and road safety. Finally, School management and school health committee should guides the students and staff to websites related to health and participate of students in campaigns planting seeding inside school.