Mon Students Receive Health Education
December 15, 2009
WCRP: The Mon National Education Committee (MNEC), and the Mon National Health Care Committee (MNHC), will be facilitating a health program for children ages 5-12 from Mon National schools. The program, called the School Health Program, will provide Mon National schools with Vitamin A, deworming medicine, and a special curriculum designed to explain the importance of basic body care.
The aid will be distributed at all Mon National schools and the curriculum, taught for one hour a week, will cover healthy eating habits, disease (malaria, polio, dengue, etc.) prevention, and basic body care. Initial preparations and trainings for the program will happen in 2 phases leading up to the start of the new school year in June.
Nai Aie Com, MNEC’s committee member, explained, “In the second week of January, we [MNEC staff] will start Training for Trainers (TOT), a training about healthcare. 20 MNEC teachers, from 11 townships in southern Burma, will be trained by World Education about healthcare issues.” In June, teachers who received TOT training will train teachers who could not attend the January workshop.
According to MNHC’s officer, Nai Aue Chan, “We plan to start distributing Vitamin A and the deworming medicine…in March and we will provide it to all the Mon National schools and children in resettlement sites [Bee Ree, Three Pagodas Pass and Tavoy areas] for the first time.” MNHC is not certain at this time how frequently they will distribute the aid, but they will make it available for children, with in the age range, who cannot attend school.
The School Health Program is scheduled to operate for 3 years and is sponsored by Global Health Access Program (GHAP) and World Education. World Education also provides some of curriculum and several other teacher trainings for the Mon National schools.
MNEC runs 302 schools with about 36,000 students and 789 teachers. 156 of those schools are Mon National Schools (17,500 students) while the remaining 146 are jointly run by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and MNEC. Most of the Mon National schools are in the New Mon State Party (NMSP) controlled area of Mon state, although a few are in the SPDC controlled areas of southern Burma. The program will not initially be operating at schools run by the SPDC and MNEC, but in the future MNEC and MNHC hope to extend the program to those schools.
This is the second time MNEC has organized a health program for students at Mon National Schools. In 1999 MNEC set up a health program, but for various reasons and budget restraints they had to cut the project in 2002. At that time, the program was run by MNEC, the facilitators were from MNHC. For the 2010 project year, the facilitators are the teachers from MNEC.