Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology is encouraging schools to improve students' health by participating in the Healthy School Movement (GGS), which covers various aspects of health.

"The quality of students' health is closely related to the improvement of education quality," said Iwan Syahril, the ministry's Director General of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, during the launch of the 2024–2030 School Health Road Map in Jakarta on Monday.

The GGS focuses on five aspects of health, namely nutrition, immunization, physical health, mental health, and environmental health, to cover all the health needs of students.

To improve environmental health, the ministry is encouraging all relevant parties in the educational ecosystem to help realize a shift toward a clean and healthy lifestyle.

In addition, the ministry is pushing for building a culture of handwashing with soap as well as ensuring adequate toilets and running water are available in schools.

Furthermore, educational units are also being asked to provide education on how to sort organic and non-organic waste and implement menstrual health and hygiene management so that female students can go to school comfortably.

Syahril said that the ministry's direction should be adhered to because several global-level research results have shown that adequate sanitation in schools affects health, education, gender equality, and economic indicators.

He explained that in the health sector, simple activities such as routinely washing hands with soap can reduce diarrhea incidence by 47 percent.

Building a culture of handwashing can also reduce absenteeism among students by up to 50 percent.

"Students who are healthy can avoid diarrhea, leading to increased access to education," he said.

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Translator: Astrid Faidlatul, Raka Adji
Editor: Anton Santoso
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