Enhancing School Health and Nutrition: Outcomes and Action Plans from the Provincial Learning Forum in Battambang

The recent “Provincial Learning Forum on Primary Education and School Health” in Battambang Province, hosted by Battambang Education Support Team (BEST/P-ESWG), convened approximately 70 participants, including representatives from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), government officials, educators, students, and parents. The forum aimed to share the results of research on improving the implementation of nutritional standards in primary school health policies. It also sought support from partners, authorities, and stakeholders to address the challenges of food insecurity in schools. The focus was on promoting the education and well-being of children. The forum produced several key outcomes and actionable recommendations to enhance the overall health and safety of students in Battambang Province. One of the primary recommendations was to conduct comprehensive training sessions on school health policy. These sessions will be organized by the Department of School Health, in collaboration with the Provincial Office of Education (PoE) and the Department of Education (DoE). The training aims to equip school staff with the necessary knowledge and skills to implement and maintain high health standards within their institutions.

Another crucial recommendation was the establishment of school health committees. These committees will be composed of teachers, parents, and local authorities, ensuring a collaborative approach to school health. Their responsibilities will include overseeing the implementation of health initiatives, monitoring compliance with health guidelines, and addressing any health-related concerns that arise within the school.

The forum also highlighted the need for strict enforcement of guidelines to ensure that only safe and nutritious food is sold in schools. This includes entering into contracts with food vendors that prohibit the sale of harmful or non-compliant food items, in accordance with guidelines set by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MoEYS). The enforcement of these guidelines will be monitored by the school health committees and local authorities, who will conduct regular inspections and take necessary actions against vendors who fail to comply.
The Provincial Learning Forum on Primary Education and School Health in Battambang Province concluded with a renewed commitment to enhancing the health and educational outcomes for students. The collaborative efforts and actionable recommendations developed during the forum provide a clear roadmap for achieving these goals.

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