UNESCO New Delhi has started the publication, Minding our Minds during COVID-19: a guide to help foster positive mental health for students in India, towards its continued efforts to respond to the challenges posed by COVID-19 on the education system.
The guide was launched virtually by Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Union Minister of Education, Government of India, in the presence of high ranking officials from the Government, Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF Representative in India, representatives from other UN Agencies, stakeholders and partners.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused more than 430 million children in South Asia to rely on remote learning, who could now join the 32 million children who were already out-of-school. The long-time closure of educational institutes has hindered the growth as well as effected the mental health of students.
What is the mental health guide by UNESCO?
Divided in five modules, the guide is designed for principals, head-teachers, teachers and parents to help alleviate the stress and anxiety that the school going children are feeling. As the schools reopen in India, the course will be a useful reference as well as an advocacy tool for not only enhancing the understanding of mental health issues within their students and children, but also to scale up their efforts in helping them manage their mental wellbeing.
The guide from UNESCO is an extended version of a set of posters, Minding our Minds which were released earlier this year in multiple languages including English, Hindi, Tamil and Sinhala. These posters provided guidance to children, women and families who may be experiencing anxiety during the pandemic.
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