Evaluation of school health instruction in public primary schools in Bonny Local Government Area, Rivers state
Background: Effective school health instruction in primary schools is essential in addressing the health risks and needs of school age children and adolescents. This study sought to evaluate the status of school
health instruction in public primary schools in Bonny Local Government Area.
Method: This is a cross sectional school based study carried out in 20 public primary schools in Bonny Local Government Area, Rivers State, in March 2006. The availability of the various components of the school health instruction programme was evaluated using an evaluation scale. Components had weighted scores. The minimum acceptable and maximum
attainable scores for school health instruction were 31 and 47. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 11.
Results: There were a total of 100 teachers in all the schools. The teacher population per school ranged from 2 to 13 with a mean of 5±2.77SD. The pupil population of the schools ranged between 100-1460 with a mean of
352±336SD. Teacher/pupil ratio per school ranged from 1: 30 to 1: 128. Fourteen (70%) schools had teacher/pupil ratio less than 1:40. There was no professional health instructor in all the schools. Four schools (20%) allotted 3 periods per week to health teaching, while the rest (80%) allotted less than 3 periods per week. HIV/AIDS was not in the health education curriculum being used. The only teaching method used by all the schools was the direct teaching method. No school used teaching aids; no
school went on field trips. Teachers did not receive in-service training on health education. No school attained the minimum acceptable score of 31 points using the evaluation scale.
Conclusion: School health instruction was poorly implemented in the primary schools investigated. Teachers were not adequately prepared for health teaching and the classrooms were overcrowded.
Keywords: School; Health instruction, Evaluation