Seminar on Improving Nutrition and Environment-Based Literacy among
School Age Children in Southeast Asia
Most studies from various countries suggest school as an effective setting for nutrition education. As part of SEAMEO RECFON’s priority program, we carried out Nutrition Goes to School (NGTS) program since 2015. In line with this and on the occasion of our 7th year anniversary, a seminar and workshop with the theme on “Celebrating Partnership on Improving Nutrition and Environment-Based Literacy among School Age Children in Southeast Asia” was conducted at SEAMEO RECFON’s building in Jakarta on March 23rd 2018.
During the seminar, participants have developed more insights on best practices in nutrition education to school children in the region. The three speakers were Prof. Namiko Adachi from Nagoya University of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Jesus C. Fernandez from SEAMEO BIOTROP, and representing the host of the event, Dr. Judhiastuty Februhartanty.
Prof. Adachi shared nutrition education activities in public schools in Japan. Massive globalization might slowly change the traditional eating pattern of Japanese to the unhealthy one. The school-based nutrition program in Japan carried out the healthy life habit principal, “Shokuiku Basic Act”. The program is designed to be a sustainable program by having nutrition teacher in class, increasing knowledge about food source such as plant and fish, as well as fun practical education activities.
Dr. Jesus Fernandez explicated the school gardening program initiated by SEAMEO BIOTROP. This program was targeted to school teachers from all school levels and expected to improve the literacy, nutrition, and entrepreneurial skills of the primary and secondary school students in Indonesia. He also shared monitoring channel of the training alumni using Whatsapp group which is found to be effectively engaging.
Dr. Judhiastuty shared about SEAMEO RECFON’s food and nutrition literacy program at school setting. The Center’s leadership in nutrition and at the same time structurally under the coordination of Ministry of Education and Culture RI provides opportunities for the Center to encourage the development of lesson plans and teaching material for easy use for the teachers at all school levels. She also shared the Centre’s experience in the integration strategies of the lesson plans relevant to the school condition. These include the use of intra curriculum, extra curriculum, co-curriculum; across tracks between nature and social sciences (for senior high school level); inside class, outside class; students’ club; as well as parent-teacher meeting.
Summary of the seminar covers the potential lessons learned to be adopted from nutrition teacher in Japan, the winning combination of gardening and nutrition education, and the experiential learning as the new nutrition education. The seminar which was also broadcasted online was attended by 56 participants. The offline recording session is currently available at our Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERYvfQPPlOs).