National commitment to promote youth health education

20 May 2019

More than 130 representatives of district education divisions, school principals and teachers, doctors and adolescent health specialists, students and parents from several districts of the country made a joint commitment to support youth health education and build positive behaviors among young people. The topics were discussed in the first national conference entitled “School-community partnership for promoting youth health education”.

Angela Cutasevici, secretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, said the first-twelfth graders study elements of health education within the mandatory subject “Personal Development” as part of the curriculum reform. Additionally, the optional course “Health education” offers the students detailed information about their development and health, helping them to take informed decisions.

Angela Cutasevici, secretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research.

The optional course “Health education” is now studied by about 22,000 teens, which is approximately 10% of all the adolescents. The course consists of seven-nine modules centering on the holistic development of young people, including mental health, reproductive health, prevention of violence, healthy eating and others. The curriculum of this course was reviewed with the assistance of UNFPA and the Embassy of the Netherlands and includes high-quality information adjusted to the students‘ age for harmonious development.

UNFPA Deputy Representative in Moldova Natalia Plugaru said that in the absence of parents who work abroad, the importance of this subject is even greater as this helps the young people to communicate, to take responsible decisions and to avoid risks. “International evidence shows health education contributes to a lower number of cases of unplanned pregnancies in adolescence, sexually transmitted infections, HIV, violence, abuse of harmful substances. That’s why UNFPA assists the Ministry in promoting health education so that more young people have access to it. It is the role of each player in society – the school, parents, authorities, health specialists, young people – to contribute to creating a favorable environment for the healthy development of the young people,” stated Natalia Plugaru.

Young people express their views about the role of schools and communities in supporting their healthy development. 

The conference ended with the adoption of a resolution signed by all the participants, including central and local public education authorities, civil society organizations, youth and health centers, families, parents and young people who pledged to establish partnerships at the local level to prevent teenage risky behaviors.

The conference was organized by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research in partnership with UNFPA Moldova and the Educational Center “Pro-Didactica”, with financial support from the Embassy of the Netherlands, in the framework of the project “Promotion of Youth Health Education”.