133 schools join the Healthy Learning Programme
The Healthy Learning Programme has made a major milestone by incorporating 133 new schools by 1st July 2012, bringing the total to 163 schools.
This was made possible through the programme’s “adoption strategy” which is an attempt to upscale Healthy Learning (HL) in a cost effective way and build a critical mass for change. “The number of 30 schools is too limited to serve as a model and have an impact at national and policy level” explains the HL programme coordinator, Paul Bottelberge.
Each of the initial 30 schools in 9 districts that have been implementing the programme since 2008 is mentoring between 2 to 8 neighboring schools in the selection and implementation of low cost HL activities with high sustainability prospect. These schools are finding resources themselves, either from own reserves, from parents or from local philanthropic or development supporting individuals or organizations. Preliminary reports indicate many have already started projects such as hand washing, kitchen gardens, school beautification, tree planting, water harvesting and talking walls.
Typical HL adoption activities that have been carried out include sensitization and orientation meetings and workshops; assessment of schools using HL standards; sharing of resources and information materials; conducting a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis of the adopted school; resource mobilization and distribution and use of the HL teacher’s guide.
The HL adoption idea was born out of a meeting with HL stakeholders in October 2011 (see http://www.vvob.be/kenya/content/healthy-learning-schools-adopt-new-schools). Following the meeting, district education field officers identified 54 champions from the 30 HL schools who were trained as trainers of trainers in March 2012. These champions have become the change agents in the programme and have successfully spread the HL message to many more schools.
The programme is aiming at 200 schools having HL by the end of this year. VVOB and MoE are also actively searching for partners and donors who might be interested to see a healthier learning environment in many more schools.