Creating networks through linking quality learning and the health and nutrition status of children
The ’Healthy Learning‘ programme in Kenya encourages teachers, parents, schoolchildren, district and national officers of different Ministries, staff of local NGOs, international agencies and VVOB... to collaborate in addressing the link between quality learning and the health and nutrition status of children. In 2010, thirty model primary schools in eight arid and semi-arid districts of Kenya are focusing more than before on elementary insights and skills related to hygiene, nutrition and a healthy environment.
The programme treats each school as a holistic entity and looks for opportunities in the local context for ’Healthy Learning‘, using the existing curriculum, systems and mechanisms. Our support is focused on active and constructive learning, school-based methodologies and improved school management. Through small grants, each school is running initiatives such as growing vegetables in the school garden, harvesting water, breeding chickens, running a tree nursery, building better toilets… Some of these ‘projects’ also generate income.
Mobilising and involving many different actors, ranging from the school to the Ministry of Education head office, stimulates engagement and collaboration. They interact and record ideas, plans, experiences, challenges at forums (such as school management committee meetings), school monitoring or exchange visits, district and other workshops.
In September 2010, the ’National Healthy Learning Training Workshop‘ provides another excellent opportunity for mutual learning. The more than 120 participants also help to develop a ’Healthy Learning scorecard for schools‘. There is a wealth of documentation, at all levels, which is used by the Ministry of Education for better management and increased quality of programmes such as Healthy Learning. ’Healthy Learning‘ also creates local networks and linkages channelling new and additional support to schools.
Programme Manager, VVOB Kenya