School policies and the health promoting school (HPS) : an investigation in primary schools in the North West Province
Mokhobo, Ramatshediso Samuel
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A series of acts which were passed during the apartheid era have undoubtedly deprived the marginalized groups, namely, the so called Coloureds, Indians and the black majority their political rights. Apartheid policies enshrined in the then constitution, ill-considered the wellbeing and wellness of these groups, while at the same time, a white minority was solely privileged. Being the victims of segregation, the deprived groups continuously suffered from the political, and socio-economic setbacks, which disabled them to lead healthy lifestyles. Racial division which was prevalent in many workplaces, particularly in the mining sector, disadvantaged many of them, blacks in particular, to perform skilled labour. They were therefore destined to perform unskilled labour which classified them as cheap labourers, hence meagre wages. The results of segregation bore the fruits of abject poverty which impacted negatively on many. Problems of housing and infrastructure are still confronting many households to date since scores of them are 'shack dwellers' nationwide, living in squalid conditions which are a threat to their health. Overcrowding and poor teaching and learning were prime causes of learners to discontinue their education prematurely. High dropout rates became prevalent mostly in rural areas, where schooling accommodation was limited. Schools can only be safe places of teaching and learning when all horrifying acts of violence such as sexual abuse, rape, intimidation, assaults, bullying and murder are urgently eliminated. All the stakeholders in education should collectively work together to ensure that health promotion in schools is maintained. Against the above mentioned background the primary aim of this research was to determine what health promotion entails within the context of a selected group of 10 primary schools in the Southern Region of the North West Province. A qualitative research methodology was selected to achieve this outcome. Data was gathered by means of focus group interviews. The transcriptions were analysed generating items that were labeled as main categories and subcategories. Pertaining the main categories it was evident that are several aspects that can determine the health and well-being in a school. These include: the leadership of the school, the role of the parents, the duties of the educators, the existence of plans and the policy concerning HIV/Aids.
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