UNESCO’s Work in Health
• UNESCO works to achieve Education for All
(EFA) and Millennium Development Goal 2 by
promoting the health of every individual
within the school community.
• UNESCO promotes good policies and practice
in the education sector, helps partners create
safe learning environments, and promotes life
skills-based instruction through modern,
interactive teaching methods.
• Uses participatory exercises for skills development:
– cognitive skills: creative and critical thinking, and
– personal skills: anger management and emotional
– interpersonal skills: communication, cooperation and
• There are connections between skills-based health
education and Global Citizenship Education, which
includes environmental stewardship
• Physical environment: free from danger,
disease, physical harm or injury; sufficient water
and sanitation facilities are available and
physical structures are sound, welcoming and
• Socio-emotional environment: students are free
from fear or exploitation, and where codes
against misconduct exist and are enforced.
• Treatment services improves the ability to
concentrate and learn
• School-based counselling services can
prevent/reduce school absenteeism and dropout
• Referral system can ensure that learners get
• School-level: policies set priorities, objectives,
standards and rules to protect and promote
the health and safety of students and staff.
• National-level: School-level health-related
policies are most effective when supported by
a national level policy framework that
articulates expectations for schools across the
Selected UNESCO Initiatives Underway
• Support to countries to scale up
comprehensive sexuality education
• Young People Today. Time to Act Now!
• Addressing homophobic bullying
• Menstruation and puberty education
• Global Citizenship Education Forum
In sum, UNESCO supports ‘One Health’ through
evidence-informed good policies and practices
that make schools healthier for learners to learn
and teachers to teach, and where the whole
school community learns to be healthy.