School HeAlth Promotion and Empowerment

Research has shown that existing resources in schools such as teachers are unable to implement programmes aimed to promote the overall health of students as they have their own academic priorities. Shape adopts the World Health Organisation’s Health Promoting Schools model by introducing an alternative low-cost human resource in the form of a school health counsellor to deliver the intervention.

The broad vision is to develop, pilot and scale up a school-based health promotion programme in Goa and other parts of India.

Specific objectives

  1. Develop a package of school-based treatments to promote the health of young people and scale this up in Goa
  2. Evaluate the effectiveness of school-based health promotion treatments in India, and support the optimal conditions for the systematic development and evaluation of school-based interventions in India
  3. Build capacity for implementing and evaluating school health promotion programmes and dissemination


In 2010-2011, the revised school health promotion package was implemented in four schools by the Archdiocesan Board of Education in rural and coastal areas of Goa, while another nine rural schools were also brought under its wing through the Manthan project.
The intervention works across three levels – the whole school or universal level (health camps, assemblies, advisory boards, etc), the classroom (workshops on life skills revolving around examination stress, studying, goal setting, personal space, gender and violence, anger management, self-esteem, nutrition, reproductive and sexual health) and individual counselling. Currently, the team is conducting health camps for students, workshops for students and teachers and also counselling students.

Case studies of four school health promotion programmes are being conducted to evaluate the intervention’s effectiveness. Currently, case studies of Prayatna in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Rajasthan, and Ritinjali in Rajasthan are being documented. It will address the acceptability, feasibility and impact of various types of school health promotion programmes in India.

As part of its strategy to build capacity for the delivery and evaluation of school-based interventions, Sangath hosts its annual Development And Evaluation of Complex Health Care Interventions. Participants are provided with an overview of the nature of complex health care interventions and the steps involved in designing and evaluating these treatments.
The course is implemented by Sangath in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health (SEARCH), the South Asia Network for Chronic Diseases (SANCD) and the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). Click here to find out more, and register.

Latest achievements

Future course of action
The team is considering a proposal to take the school programme ahead.