Chandigarh,18.01.18-School of Public Health (SPH), PGIMER in partnership with Education and Health Department Chandigarh, Administration and supported by Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi organised workshop on “Reorientation of Principals on Accreditation of Schools as Health Promoting Schools”. Prof Jagat Ram, Director PGIMER, Dr G Dewan ,Director, Health Services, Mrs Anujit Kaur DEO,Education Department ,Ms Vidhi Gupta Advisor NABET, Quality Council of India graced occasion.  One hundred and seventy participants included Principals, Health in charge and Counsellors from the Government and private schools participated. 
 
Prof JS Thakur, welcomed dignitaries and participants and gave the overview of the project and progress achieved so far. He emphasized that school settings are the most important settings for shaping the health of future generation as all good and bad habits are formed in the childhood. Hence, we should catch students young to have maximum benefit and promote healthy behavior. Results of  baseline assessment of schools for accreditation were presented. There was no significant difference in accreditation level between Government and private schools. He highlighted that quality improvement is a continuous process and there no scope for failure once there is commitment. The schools are working for self-improvement on voluntary basis with technical support from PGIMER and key stakeholders and will be reassessed during mid-year.
 Dr Dewan, DHS , UT Chandigarh briefed about the school health set up and services which are being undertaken under NHM. He emphasized that teachers play important role in building the future of the Nation. He empathized the importance of school health and offered the commitment of health department in taking concrete steps for strengthening this programme.
 
Prof Jagat Ram Director PGI  highlighted that the health of children and adolescents is  very important to the growth and development of our country. Healthier students tend to  perform better not only in academics but in other activities also. He said that further strengthening of collaboration can be done for the project and assured the active participation  and support from PGIMER to Education and Health department, Chandigarh. He informed that PGI had developed 12-week and 20-week lifestyle intervention for school settings in Chandigarh and these have helped in changing health behaviour of the students. Accreditation standards of schools as Health Promoting schools and a manual for the same was developed in 2011 and revised in 2016. It will be useful tool for improving the schools as Health promoting schools in different category of Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum categories. 
 
Group work was conducted during the workshop. The Principals discussed in four groups on topics viz improving accreditation standards in schools, role of key stakeholders in implementing the accreditation standards, effectiveness of health committee for improving accreditation and baseline assessment report of the schools.
Some of the important suggestions provided viz; principals should take leadership for Health promoting schools, synergy between various committees, appointment of students as health ambassadors, importance of the role of parents, unconventional approaches like practising meditation in schools, resource mobilisation, consensus between teachers, counsellors and parent teacher associations. Discussion was also held for ways to overcome barriers viz architectural and mobilization of resources in funds crunch situation. Construction of additional toilets and maintenance of existing toilets and additional water taps is major challenge to be addressed by PWD department, Chandigarh Administration.
 
Mrs Vidhi Gupta from NABET, QCI addressed that quality is a continuous process and children should be involved in the self-improvement process of the schools.