Primary schools must encourage healthy living from early age: minister

Primary schools must encourage healthy living from early age: minister

Screenshot—Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Mendikbudristek), Nadiem Anwar Makarim, at an online seminar on the 2022 National Movement (Gernus 2022), which was followed from Jakarta on Thursday (August 4, 2022). (ANTARA/Rizka Khaerunnisa/rst)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Primary schools can play an important role in educating students about healthy living behaviors from an early age, Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Mendikbudristek), Nadiem Anwar Makarim, has said.

"I believe that children will be able to learn optimally if their nutrition is fulfilled properly," he added during an online seminar on the 2022 National Movement (Gernus 2022), which was followed from Jakarta on Thursday.

It is important to conduct a nutritional literacy campaign, especially in the midst of Indonesia's efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

Nutritional literacy is important considering that children have started to return to school, so increasing their knowledge about balanced nutrition and an active lifestyle must be optimally and sustainably driven.

Currently, all schools have school health units (UKS) for providing guidance on developing clean and healthy living habits to students. The units are being run in an integrated manner through educational programs and health services in schools, the minister informed.

"In addition, the ministry will also launch the 'Healthy School' program, which will prioritize cross-sectoral collaboration to provide healthy food in schools and the implementation of regular sports activities for students," he said.

Makarim also lauded the private sector for consistently initiating and running the Nusantara Movement program, which prioritizes nutritional education for teachers and students across Indonesia.

Through the initiative of the private sector, it is hoped that the program can create healthy, safe, and comfortable educational units for all school residents, especially students, he said.

"I hope that all elements from the government, private sector, education sector, to parents can further strengthen collaboration to build healthy schools and realize the ideals of independent learning," he added.

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