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There are several strategies tackling the issues of healthy lifestyle, healthy nutrition, sexual health and prevention of risky behaviour. Some of them are focused on the whole population, mentioning children or young people as one of their target groups, or there are some specific strategies and action plans targeting only children or young people.
National Strategy on Primary Prevention of Risk Behaviour of Children and Youth for the period 2019-2027with the Action Plan for 2019 - 2021.
(For details see Chapter 4.3)
Health 2020 – National Strategy for Health Protection and Promotion and Disease Prevention, with related National Action Plans
- Proper nutrition and eating habits
- Prevention of obesity
- Food safety
National Action Plan to Reduce Risky Behaviourwith three sub-plans
- Action plan for the creation of an interdisciplinary inter-ministerial framework of primary risky behaviour prevention in highly vulnerable groups of children in the Czech Republic
- Action Plan for Tobacco Control in the Czech Republic for 2015-2018
- Action Plan to Limit the Damage from Alcohol in the Czech Republic for the Period 2015-2018
There are several activities supporting healthy lifestyles and healthy nutrition among young people.
1. Decree of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports no. 282/2016 Sb. on food requirements for which advertising is admissible and which can be offered for sale in schools and school facilities. Advertising and selling of unhealthy foods are forbidden in schools and school facilities. The novelisation of this Decree from 2018 mitigated strong limits on food requirements.
2. Schools for Health - The National Institute of Public Health is a national coordinator of the World Health Organisation 'School for Health' project, which is a complex initiative not only to teach about health but to transform the school life into a healthy one. Adopted by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in 1992. In 2014, 300 Czech schools were members of the national network.
3. Healthy cities (and regions) – based on a WHO initiative. Interested cities and regions are implementing the Agenda 21 with a focus on the primary prevention activities in the public space at all scopes from social and psychological to environmental and healthy, and transparent public management focused on including young people (directly targeting). There is the National Network of Healthy cities as a supportive and coordination actor.
4. The Centre for Public Health Promotion is a centre at the National Institute of Public Health and it is running several activities directly targeting young people – at schools, in public or via other channels such as doctors, or media such as mobile apps. Within the Centre, there is the Department of Hygiene of Children and Juveniles.
- Programmes for disadvantaged groups and Socially Excluded Localities 'Jablíčko' (Apple) - loľi phabajori (in Roma language) supporting the healthy eating habits of young Roma.
- More than 1 500 children were interviewed from 2015 to 2017 across the country.
- The programme continues.
- 'The game against AIDS' – interactive programme for children and young people.
- Target Group: students 14+
- Aim of programme: prevention of HIV and STDs, social and legal aspects of HIV+ persons, epidemiological situation in the country and in the world
- 'Healthy balls' – oncology prevention with physical activity
- 'Loono'- self prevention of diseasis
Prevention of oncological diseases - teaching people how to self-examine breasts and testicles the right way and regularly to detect any issues at an early stage.
Prevention of cardiovascular diseases - teaching people how to detect cardiovascular diseases at an early stage, but also what to do when they witness someone having a stroke or a heart attack.
The truth about... - educational lectures and panel discussions, where they focus on disproving various myths about health, prevention, and the human body.
- 'How (Not) to Become An Addict'
- Prevention of smoking, alcohol, media, advertising, bullying, assertive techniques….
- European Immunisation Week 2016
- Healthy School Canteen Project (zdravá školní jídelna)
- Provides advice, recipes, and guides for healthy nutrition. Inspire with presentation of the best eateries, consult with nutrition experts and receive the prestigious certificate healthy school canteen from experts in nutrition and hygienists, at this moment 49 schools and 192 school canteens are involved.
- Brief interventions – motivation techniques for nurses and teachers to intervene with relevant patients
- World No Tobacco day 2017
- Literary and art competition for schools (included DVD spots)
- Virtual Gallery 2015
- Life is sweet without added sugar
- Have a nice journey for health
- Health-promotion materials and posters for young people
5. Fruits and vegetables in schools, the EU project is implemented in the Czech Republic since the school year 2009/2010.
- The main aim is to fight against child obesity with the target group of ISCED 1 educational level pupils.
- There were 2883 schools participating in 2009/2010 (71% of total) and in 2016/2017, 3863 elementary schools already participated.
- The Agricultural Intervention Fund (SZIF) coordinates the project.
- The project is in the competence of the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
6. Milk in schools is also an EU initiative, with the same structure as Fruits and vegetables in schools. However, the difference is in the target group, which is elementary, and secondary schools. The aim is to contribute to healthy nutrition and to create healthy eating habits of children and youth by increasing consumption of milk and dairy products. Moreover, another aim is to raise the consumption of dairy products.
Since 2017, following the Decision of the European Parliament, the EU projects Fruits and vegetables and Milk in schools are more integrated as one initiative.
Health education and educational goals related to health and healthy lifestyles are part of the state curricular documents at ISCED 1, ISCED 2 as well as ISCED 3 level (Framework Educational Programmes - for details see Chapter 6).
Some updates of the curricular documents linked also to healthy lifestyles education were made in 2013.
At ISCED 1 and 2 level, among many cross-curricular subtopics, there is a main educational field no. 5.8 'Human and Health'.
At ISCED 3 level (G), there are many cross-curricular subtopics linked to health as well as the main educational field no. 5.7 'Human and Health' with two educational fields of study: 'Education for Health' and 'Physical Education' (Sport). In Vocational education, the educational field is usually called 'Education for health'.
Education for health in curricular documents:
It has a practical and application character in education, in the context of science and social science education and with the use of specific health information. It is primarily about a deeper understanding of risky and non-risky behaviours (in partner relationships, parental roles, contact with addictive substances and other harmful substances, threats to safety, etc.) for all-around active support of personal as well as community and global health (in everyday life and in extraordinary events).
The teachers' methodological portal RVP.cz provides methodologies and activities for health education and promotion within the scope of the curricular documents. There are also examples of the practice of various schools, of how they tackle the needs related to Education for health from the Framework Educational Programmes.
Experimental verification 'Motion and Nutrition'
In the period 2013-2015, according to the educational legislation, there was an official experimental verification process (pilot testing as well) of a programme aiming at changes in the movement and nutrition regime of elementary school pupils.
Hygiene station activities
The regional Hygiene station of Pardubice region is running the 'Education for Health' (Výchova ke zdraví) campaign, bringing the topics to schools in its region. Other regional Hygiene stations are running their own activities in this field and in regards to schools in their regional area.
Sex education and personal relationships education
Sexual education and personal relationships are integrated into curricular documents for ISCED levels 1, 2 and 3. At level 1 and 2 it is part of the ethical education and at level 3 it is part of the Education for health.
ISCED 1 level:
Goal: the pupil applies graceful behaviour to the other sex, and focuses on safe ways of sexual behaviour among boys and girls at a given age
Content: partnerships, marriage, parenthood, the basics of sexual education - family, family relationships, partnerships, personal relationships, ethical aspects of relationships, ethical aspects of sexuality, sexual and other abuse.
ISCED 2 level:
Goal: the pupil respects the importance of sexuality in relation to health, ethics, morality and positive life goals; understands the importance of restraint in adolescence and responsible sexual behaviour.
Content: sexual adolescence and reproductive health - reproductive health, sexuality as part of personality formation, restraint, premature sexual experience, promiscuity; problems of pregnancy and juvenile parenthood; sexual identity disorders, protection from sexually transmitted diseases, sexual crimes, forms of sexual abuse of children.
ISCED 3 level:
- The pupil is oriented in personality, emotions, and needs, and applies responsible and ethical approaches to sexuality.
- Pupil considers the possible consequences - focuses on the issue of reproductive health in terms of responsibility for future parenthood and knows the rights of each individual in sexuality and reproduction.
- The pupil can outline the consequences of the violation of criminal law sections related to sexually motivated crime, hidden forms of individual violence, and derive personal responsibility from them.
- changes in adolescence - physical, mental and social; searching for personal identity
- focusing on the future, searching for a partner
- experiencing emotional states and deeper emotional relationships, ways of self-reflection and emotional control
- reproductive health care - factors affecting fertility
- preventive inspection; education associated with the abuse of nicotine, alcohol, drugs and sexually transmitted diseases
- methods of assisted reproduction, its biological, ethical, psychosocial and legal aspects
- models of mutual behaviour related to ethical and psychosocial aspects of partner and sexual life - responsibility, self-esteem, respect, decision-making
- sexual and reproductive health risks - promiscuity, premature termination of pregnancy
- sexually motivated crime - pornography, paedophilia, child prostitution, trafficking in women
- hidden forms and degrees of individual violence and abuse - bullying, brutality, neglected and abused children (CAN)
Peer to peer approaches in education for the healthy lifestyle are used as one of the methodologies by many providers of health education, youth groups or youth organisation. However, there is no state initiative or programme directly promoting this methodology as the providers are often using it.
The programmes of the National Institute of Public Health are also using peer-to-peer approaches in specific projects and campaigns, e.g. within the programme 'Healthy Balls', students of medicine and other volunteers are helping with the implementation and realisation of the programme.
There is no top-level initiative directly supporting collaboration and partnership among various actors in the field of health education, however, the political strategies are supporting these principles and the project organisers can decide whether to involve partners or not.
Raising awareness on healthy lifestyles and on factors affecting the health and well-being of young people
Apart from the school initiatives, projects and educational content, and the above-mentioned activities and campaigns of the National Institute for Public Health, there are no specific state activities in this regard.
Doctors for children and adolescents or their practitioners provide the individual counselling and support to children and young people.
However, there is a strong segment of the private market and NGO sector providing support and counselling targeting children and young people or the overall population.
In the regions and on a local level, Regional and local Authorities or Regional hygiene stations may launch special campaigns and programmes.