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Promoting One Health Education in Border Schools: Integrating One Health Concepts in Basic Education

The workshop titled "Mapping Extent of Curricular Integration of One Health Related Concepts in Basic Education in Southeast Asia" was held in Bangkok on June 22-23, 2023. Organized by the SEAMEO TROPMED Network in partnership with SEAMEO STEM-ED, SEAOHUN and Chevron, the event gathered more than 40 participants from eight countries representing various sectors, including government agencies, United Nations agencies, development partners, and the private sector. The workshop aimed to identify the incorporation of One Health related concepts in the basic education curriculum across Southeast Asia. Participants discussed concepts for integration into the curriculum, implementation challenges, and recommendations for overcoming these barriers.

During the opening ceremony on June 22, Dr. Pratap Singhasivanon, the Secretary General/Coordinator of SEAMEO TROPMED Network, emphasized the pivotal role of schools in shaping positive attitudes and behaviors among children. He highlighted how children can carry One Health concepts back to their homes and communities. Ms. Dee Bourbon, Senior Social Investment Advisor at Chevron Corporation, stressed the significance of intersectoral collaboration to enhance education and effectively prevent, detect, and respond to emerging infectious diseases and public health threats.

Dr. Ronello C. Abila, Sub-Regional Representative for Southeast Asia, World Organization for Animal Health, provided the expert’s presentation on the concepts, approach, plan of action, and role of education in promoting the One Health approach.

Ms. Jenelle Babb, Regional Advisor, Education for Health and Wellbeing Section for Inclusive Quality Education, UNESCO Bangkok, shared with the group experiences, challenges and opportunities for mainstreaming health related concepts in the curriculum.

Throughout the workshop, participants, who were representatives from the Ministries of Education of each member country as well as from institutions involved in the fields of health and education, shared valuable insights into the current status of school health activities in basic education within their respective countries. This knowledge exchange facilitated a comprehensive understanding of the existing situation and enabled the identification of common challenges and opportunities.

Importantly, the workshop provided a platform for participants to deliberate on policy actions that could facilitate the integration of One Health into each country’s school curriculum. Various strategies were explored, including curriculum revisions, teacher training programs, collaboration with other ministries or sectors, and partnerships with educational institutions and organizations. Overall, the workshop fostered collaboration and exchange of ideas among stakeholders on how to promote the integration of One Health concepts into basic education in Southeast Asia.


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