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Paying Attention to Physical and Mental Health in Education

Being healthy does not only means maintaining physical wellness but also mental agility.

In the documentary film Where to Invade Next, a scene shows the filmmaker being surprised by what French children eat at their lunch. They have a complete, balanced, and yummy four-course meal that they consume during their two-hour lunch time. Having examined this, he thought that this was only because the school was for rich children, but the school principal informed him that no, this was actually one of the poorest districts in the city.

The drastic difference between this and what he has experienced back at his home in the U.S. is so glaring that it led him to vow to bring such an idea where it is needed. In some countries, food in schools has become such a health risk that junk food and even nearby fast food restaurants have been banned by the school board. Obesity, malnutrition, and a host of other health complications because of an improper diet can be avoided by stakeholders of education by trying to collaborate and meaningfully engage the problem head-on.

Mental health issues have also become increasingly common, with social stigma around mental illness still largely misunderstood, caring, loving, and professional treatment for these issues are often left to a state of neglect.

\With the rise of technology and social media consumption, the impact of these trends on the way our children, especially young adolescents, think and live inside and outside school is becoming more nuanced, influencing their learning experience in many ways. The experiences of failure, bullying, anxieties caused by school, a lack of motivation, feelings of worthlessness and other warning signs of mental health problems in our young learners should be met with an immediate and effective response by the parents and teachers, a task that must begin through proper collaboration and concrete action.

This means that if all students, parents, and teachers act as a concerned community, it is possible to take action and put rules in place to ensure the health of young learners that will benefit the whole community. By developing healthy learning environments, we can plant the seeds of a brighter tomorrow for students today, in the classroom and everywhere else.

As a principle, health practices must go beyond what is taught in the curriculum and extend itself to the entire school as a community. These formal and informal ways of managing the physical, mental, emotional, and social dimensions of health all emerge from years of effort and collaboration between learning stakeholders.

Reinforced by accurate data and sound science, environments and rules that maintain a holistic approach to learning are key to supporting and encouraging the pursuit of good health. Research confirms that young learners are able to perform better long-term in school if they are provided with environments that promote their health and well-being.

Many of the factors involved in gauging student competency are dependent on an able body and a sound mind: from critical thinking to problem solving, decision-making, personal management, collaboration, and leadership; all these are enhanced when a community build around the Whole Child gives enough engagement and support from them.

With an organized and effective approach to health, academic achievement for students is improved, social and behavioral issues in the classroom and schoolyard settings are avoided and decreased, positive and transformative attitudes such as good attendance and participation are sustained.

For parents, a healthy learning environment for their children would mean that they are also encouraged to become more involved and hands-on with school activities, and the school itself, with its teachers and staff, becomes a more enjoyable, productive workplace.

REX Bookstore strives to bridge the gap between students, teachers, and parents to create a healthy and productive learning environment that faces the challenges of the 21st century and meets the demands of the 4th industrial revolution.

Rex believe that with their Whole Child initiative, healthy students today are geared for success tomorrow.

Learn more about how they can help stakeholders of education sustain a healthy learning environment through their suite of learning solutions designed for the Whole Child.

Learn more about the Whole Child, visit http:// www.wholechild.rexbookstore.ph/

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