Adoption of school health programmes in secondary schools, ilorin

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Background of the study

The Kwara central zone is made up of Ilorin west, Ilorin east, Ilorin South, Asa and Mooro local government area and the primary ethnic groups of Kwara state are Yoruba with significant Nupe, Baruba and Fulani.

Ilorin West Local Government area of Kwara State is in the transitional zone between Northern and Southern parts of Nigeria. The Local Government was created from defunct Ilorin Local Government area in October, and is regarded today as the premier local council in the state not only because of its historical antecedent but because of the fact that it hosts the headquarters of the emirate councils. Ilorin West Local Government plays a dual role of the host of the state capital and the headquarters of the Local Government area making it the only metropolitan council. According to the 2006 population figure, the Local Government has about 364, 666 people thereby putting it at the most densely populated Local Government Area in the State.

According to the Trinity Care Foundation 2015, the School Health Program is defined as “the school procedures that contribute to the maintenance, promotion, enhancement, restoration and improvement of the health of pupils and school personnel including health services healthful living and health education”.

Childhood is the age of learning and it is the time when a child start developing practices and attitude towards health. It is very important to target the children for health awareness and demonstration of correct methods for personal hygiene.

School is considered as place for learning where children learn not only subjective knowledge but also life style practices and health seeking behaviors. It has been proven that schools can provide an ideal platform for the promotion of health. The school as an institution for learning seeks to explore diverse behaviors from the students among which optimum well-being of the students cannot be overemphasized. Studies by Idehen (2004) revealed that in many parts of Nigeria, health instruction in secondary schools was poorly carried out. It is significant to mention that in whatever function one finds oneself, the most important factor is good health. If health is lacking, productivity will be seriously undermined. Thus every health education teacher in Nigeria has the potential for positively affecting the health status of students. Furthermore, many students contend with health problems that influence their ability to learn. For instance, some students are not adequately fed; others lack relevant vaccination and are vulnerable to various infections and diseases such as tuberculosis, measles, meningitis, malaria and infective hepatitis. Similarly, a well-planned health appraisal service is also needed in these schools.

The committee on National Academy of Sciences (2016) defined a comprehensive school health program is an integrated set of planned, sequential, school-affiliated strategies, activities and services designed to promote the optimal physical, emotional, social, and educational development of students.  The program involves and is supportive of families and determined by the local community, based on community needs, resources, standards and requirements.  It is coordinated by multidisciplinary team and is accountable to the community for program quality and effectiveness.

The World Education Forum in April 2000 in Dakar, Senegal (jointly initiated by UNICEF, UNESCO, WHO, World Bank, Educational International, Education Development Centre and Partnership for Child Development), launched the Focusing Resources on Effective School Health (FRESH) as a strategy for achieving education for all (EFA). Four main components of FRESH were identified to include school health policies; water, sanitation and the environment; skill-based health education; and school-based nutrition and health services.

According to the WHO, a health promoting school is “one that is constantly strengthening its capacity as a healthy setting for living, learning and working”. The main goal of the SHP is to improve the health of learners and staff as responsible and productive citizens.

According to Allensworth (1997), while there is no one universally accepted definition and model of a school health program, the following essential elements should be considered in designing a school health program.

• Health Services – Depending on the needs and preference of the community and include services for students with disabilities and special health care needs and the traditional first aid, medication administration, and screening services), counseling, psychological, and social services (which promote academic success and address the emotional and mental health needs of students), and nutrition and food services (which provide nutritious meals, nutrition education, and a nutrition-promoting school environment).

• Health Education – Addresses the physical, mental, emotional, and social dimensions of health, physical education which teaches the knowledge and skills necessary for lifelong physical fitness, and other curricular areas which promote healthful behavior and an awareness of health issues as part of their core instruction.

• Healthful School Environment – This focuses on the physical environment involving proper building design, lighting, ventilation, safety, cleanliness, freedom from environmental hazards that foster infection and handicaps, safe transportation policies, and having emergency plans in place, the policy and administrative environment consisting of policies to promote health and reduce stress, and regulations ensuring an environment free from tobacco, drugs, weapons and violence.

• Community Participation  –  This is centered on parents and community involvement which consists of involving a wide range of community stakeholders—parents, students, educators, health and social service personnel, insurers, and business and political leaders to develop and form the structure of the school health program tailored to meet each local community’s needs, resources, perspectives, and standards.


Akanni (2007) advanced that School Health Services (SHS) constitute one of the components of the School Health Program (SHP) and deal with the maintenance of the health of school children. Effective SHS facilitate early detection and diagnosis of diseases, whereby prompt intervention ultimately reduces school-age morbidity and mortality. Physicians are pivotal in achieving this; teachers, parents, and the government also have vital roles. In Nigeria, implementation of the SHS is generally poor.

Moreover, the schools do not have a developed teaching guide outlining progressive plan for health instruction making its adoption difficult in most of the public secondary schools. Urgent attention must be given to this to ensure proper adoption of the school health programme in these schools, so as to create a healthy future for these pupils.

Statement of the Problem

This research work is set to address the interest of the school community (teachers and students) in the adoption of the school health programme in public secondary schools in Ilorin West Local Government area of Kwara state.

It has come to notice that despite the valuable health benefits that the school health programme is set to realize, most public secondary schools in this local government give little or no attention to the programme. Some of the likely issues have been ascertained to be the poor involvement of the teachers in taking active part in their SHP roles. Others can be attributed to the lack of interest on the part of the government to provide necessary aids that will assist the sustainability of the programme in these schools.

Therefore, there is need to find out the extent to which the aforementioned factors and the likes of others drawback the adoption of school health program and come up with logical conclusion that will be of great significance to the school community and government to better embrace the SHP for the benefit of all.

Purpose of the Study

The motive of this discourse is geared towards investigating into the underlying causes which can likely affect the adoption of the school health program in Ilorin West Local government area of Kwara state. The study also intend to;

1. Determine the awareness of the teachers and students towards the benefits of school health program in their schools.

2. Examine whether there is availability of necessary equipment and facilities that will assist in realizing the outcomes of SHP.

3. Investigate into the level of the government commitment towards the adoption of SHP in these schools.

4. Ascertain the teacher’s knowledge about their roles in the effective adoption of school health program.

5. Seek student’s opinion on the state of school health program in their schools.

Research Questions

The following research questions were arrived at so as to act as a guide for the investigation in this study.

1. Are teachers and students aware of the benefits inherent in the adoption of school health program in their schools?

2. Are there adequate equipment and facilities to carry out the program in these schools?

3. How committed is the government to realizing the objectives of school health program?

4. Do teachers really have adequate knowledge on their roles to play in the adoption of school health program?

5. Are students satisfied with the state of school health programme in their schools?

Research Hypothesis


1. The awareness of teachers and students about the benefit inherent in school health program will not significantly influence its adoption in public secondary schools.

2. Availability of adequate equipment and facilities to carry out school health program will not significantly influence the adoption in secondary schools.

3. Government’s commitment will not significantly influence the adoption of school health program in public secondary schools.

4. The teacher’s knowledge about their roles in school health program will not significantly influence the adoption in public secondary schools.

5. Students’ satisfaction towards the state of school health programme in schools.


Significance of the Study

This study has been outlined to check the adoption of school health program in some selected public schools in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State.

The study would be of value to the various schools administrators to better access the level of school health programme in their schools by overhauling the programme so as to ascertain where loopholes exist and make necessary amendment. This is in a bid not to expose the pupils to several health problems which the childhood stage is ravaged with. The research findings could also be significant to the government to turn a new leaf in areas where they are failing towards the adoption of school health programme in public secondary schools.  health programme

Scope and Delimitation of the Study

The geographical coverage for this study comprises of the teachers and students of five public secondary schools in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State. The research would be delimited to 5 public secondary schools in Ilorin West Local Government area of Kwara State. The population consists of 250 teachers and students that were selected from different classes; the respondents were made up of male and female students and teachers from the selected schools.


Definition of Terms


School Health Programme (SHP): This is the concerted effort of the school that contributes to the maintenance, promotion, enhancement, restoration and improvement of the health of pupils and school personnel including health services healthful living and health education.

School Health Services: This is services provided through the school system to improve the health and well-being of children and in some cases whole families and the broader community.

School Healthful Environment: This refers to the physical environment of school buildings and school grounds and is a key factor in the overall health and safety of students, staff, and visitors. School buildings and grounds must be designed and maintained to be free of health and safety hazards, and to promote learning.

School Health Appraisal: A health appraisal, or health risk assessment, is a tool that allows school health providers to gather information about an individual’s physical health and lifestyle. It also helps screen pupils for vision, dental etc. and to make referral where possible.

Community participation: This explains the involvement of the community to the school and program and rendering of necessary assistance where needed.

FRESH: Focusing resource on effective school health.

EFA: Education for all

Adoption of school health programs in secondary schools, ilorin.  health programme

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