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It's Global Handwashing Day today to remind us of the simple habit of keeping hands clean
Supported by UNICEF, health agencies and soap manufacturing industry, the Global Handwashing Day (GHD) is being observed today, October 15, across the world 'to motivate and mobilize people to improve their handwashing habits by washing their hands with soap at critical moments throughout each day'.

Various NGOs and health workers have planned camps and campaigns for raising awareness of handwashing with soap as a key approach to disease prevention. The right way of washing hands is being taught to the kids in the slum areas.

The lessons on handwashing have been included in pre-primary and primary school life education courses supported by the UNICEF 'to reduce childhood mortality rates and related respiratory and diarrheal diseases by introducing simple behavioural changes, such as handwashing with soap'.

A programme called WASH standing for 'Water, Sanitation and Hygiene' that includes several interrelated public health issues has been seen as a part of life skills education projects at many places.

Life skills are supposed to consist of psycho-social, health and hygiene habits and cognitive abilities that teach and help children in making 'informed decisions and choices; manage their emotional well-being; and communicate effectively'.

Unfortunately, In India, the curriculum is seen as an assorted assemblage of topics or content rather than an approach or a process based organization of classroom interventions. However, the life-skills approach tried out under various projects in India has shown promise.

I personally think that a well designed and properly implemented 'life skills based curriculum' at elementary school level can lead towards inclusive and equitable education since good habits, psycho-social development and thinking skills cut across the universal needs of child development.

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