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New study in Moldova: the health and life skills of VET students in focus

Young people in technical vocational education (VET) are the central subject of a study organized for the first time in the Republic of Moldova, which will assess their knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding their health and preparedness for life.


The study is conducted in October on a sample of 900 young people from 20 technical vocational education institutions and takes place within the project „Develop life skills and healthy behaviors of students in Vocational Education and Training for their development and job readiness” implemented by the United Nations Population Fund with funding support of Austrian Development Agency from funds of Austrian Development Cooperation in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research (MoECR).


“It is a very complex and important Study for planning future actions related to the formation of life skills and ensuring a safe environment for the health and development of VET students and I would like to underline that the study will evaluate equally the opinion of both girls and boys” said Galina Leșco, senior research fellow of the research team.


The assessment study of the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) regarding the health and behaviour of VET students will help understand the degree of their readiness for employment, but also for life in general.


“As a result of the information that will be collected, the MoECR will have records on the effectiveness of health education activities applied so far in technical vocational education institutions and a frame of reference both for improving the quality of these programs and for developing new policies and programs" mentioned Silviu Gâncu, Head of VET department at MoECR.


Students will answer questions related to their health, diet, physical activity, health, hygiene, emotional well-being, sexual and reproductive health, gender-based violence and consumption of harmful substances. The study will also asses their social skills, such as interpersonal relationships, communication with parents and colleagues, family support, volunteering and active citizenship development.


“The results of the study will help us better understand the views of VET students and their behavior during adolescence, when, on one hand, they become independent and aquire professional skills, and on the other hand they have to face the challenges related to this transition to adulthood. This study will allow us to adjust our current interventions and to develop new programs to support students, teachers, parents and all those involved in VET " said Natalia Plugaru, Deputy Representative at UNFPA Moldova, emphasizing that the data collected will be used for developing a communication campaign to promote healthy behaviors.


According to national statistics, the teenagers are reporting an increasing number of cases of harassment, nutritional disorders, violence. Annually in Republic of Moldova around 2400 young girls aged 10-19 remain pregnant, most of them from rural areas.


The project  „Develop life skills and healthy behaviors of students in Vocational Education and Training for their development and job readiness” continuously aims to develop actions to promote healthy behaviors and life skills among young people in VET, which, in turn, it will help them more easily find a suitable job.