The 7th International UNIRéS, [Réseau des Universités pour l’Éducation à la Santé (University Network for Health Education)] Colloquium, took place on 10th and 11th October, at MGEN Headquarters in Paris. This colloquium has been an opportunity to highlight research on health education as well as being a forum for forward-looking debate.
The five symposia and eleven workshops have been created in response to the question: “Health and Citizenship education: how can we work together and what preventative actions must be taken?”. Lecturers, teaching staff and the representatives of national and international institutions (for example MILDECA Interdepartmental Mission for the Fight against Drugs and Drug Addiction, DGESCO Directorate General for Schooling of the Ministery if Education, ESPE Higher Schools for education professionals, Santé publique France, UNESCO and the WHO, etc.) took part in a series of discussions over the two days.
Jean-Marc Lange, Professor and teacher trainer in sustainable development, in his role as guest speaker at the colloquium, has attempted to summarise the contributions and issues resulting from these exchanges. The ambivalent role of the teaching institution was raised given that such institutions simultaneously could cause poor health while also being ideal places for discussing and taking action to promote well-being.
Consequently, the “health education Pathway”, which has been part of the French curriculum from primary to upper secondary level since 2016, has been used as a major health education and prevention tool aiding the development of psychosocial skills throughout every pupil’s school career. The challenges associated with the emergence of digital technology were also debated and presuppose the School’s consideration of this space for building common narratives, constituting the same leverage for health education. Lastly, a change of paradigm was revealed as regards approaches to health education, assuming, in particular, improved consideration of life contexts and their impact, in addition to initiatives aimed at involving and empowering communities.
UNIRèS is one of the ESN’s partners and notably helped organise and host a mission in Haiti within the context of the PROCEDH (Collective Programme for the Development of Education and Social Dialogue in Haiti).