Awareness and preparedness of parents and teachers for the health education of students in Hong Kong
- Awareness and preparedness of parents and teachers for the health education of students in Hong Kong
- Hong Kong
- 1997.7 onwards
- Primary Education
- Secondary Education
- Nowadays, Hong Kong students face considerable challenges to their health. Young people are potential civic leaders and parents of tomorrow. They should acquire understanding and moral appreciation of health concepts. A student's health is influenced by interaction with family, peers and the media among others. In this study, the school and the family considered as they are the two major sources of health education support for students.
Findings in this and other local research show that the fragmented school curriculum leads to a lack of comprehensive school health education programs. Health education in Hong Kong is not a separate subject. Health elements are acknowledged in General Studies for primary schools and Integrated Science as well as a number of elective subjects in secondary schools. In addition, Hong Kong lacks comprehensive health education training for school teachers and parents. A forthcoming new senior secondary curriculum will include some health education elements in the core subject Liberal Studies, however students should be exposed to health education earlier, as major health related habits and beliefs develop during the adolescent and pre-adolescent years.
The health education needs of students were investigated by reviewing two comprehensive surveys in 1996 and 2000 for primary and secondary students respectively, carried out using versions of a Health Related Behavior Questionnaire (HRBQ) originating from the United Kingdom, but adapted for the Hong Kong situation. The outcomes reflected that students may generally need to be offered better health education for a more healthy life-style.
Medium scale survey research was adopted here to investigate the awareness of parents and teachers for health topics to be taught within the curriculum and their confidence on teaching or talking about health issues with young people. A total of 2,493 parents and 205 teachers from 22 primary and 19 secondary schools were surveyed. Results showed that consumer health, safety, mental health, caring for the sick, respect for the elderly and disabled, and sex education were the least popular topics to be placed in the curriculum and for discussion by parents with their children despite being recommended to be covered by local and international health professionals. These results, and others indicating limitations to coverage of other important health matters indicate that a planned and clear curriculum is desirable to provide teachers and parents with better understanding of their responsibilities and roles for supporting young people in gaining health related understanding.
- University of Hong Kong
- Hong Kong
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