Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication (Name of Journal)

Quality in education: Teaching and leadership in challenging times


Professional Development Centre, Karachi


This paper is based on the experiences of the Health Action Schools project at AKU-IED and looks at issues surrounding the definition, choice and implementation of planned content of health education for primary schools in Pakistan. The paper argues that health education is a vital component to achieving quality because it links home with school; ‘needs now’ with ‘needs later’. Yet it proves exceptionally difficult to plan and deliver such content effectively because curriculum planning bodies are geared to work with separate subjects rather than across the curriculum, with classroom content rather than wider learning experiences in and from school, and with textbooks and examinations rather than the physical and human environment of the school community. The paper asserts that there is confusion about the definition and purpose of health education and that a wide gap exists between what is planned centrally and what is actually delivered in a school. The paper also assets the need to rethink approaches aimed at improving content, methodology, materials and evaluation strategies and raises issues of wide relevance to the planning of health education and other themes such as environmental education and inclusive education.