HEALTH AND SAFETY SITUATION AT NON-PUBLIC PRIMARY SCHOOLS
Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in societies and promoting their health and safety in school should be one of the goals of education systems. Evaluating the current status of schools is the first step toward the prevention of crises in schools and coping with them. The present study investigates the health and safety status of non-public primary schools in Tehran. The present cross-sectional, descriptive-analytical study was conducted on a statistical population of non-public primary schools in Tehran, including 65 schools that were selected through multistage cluster sampling. The study tool was the School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale (SACERS), which was completed by the researcher upon observing the current status of schools, and a statistical analysis was then carried out in SPSS-23 using deductive analysis with the single-sample t-test and the cumulative percentage analysis. The results obtained showed that the schools met the required standards in indicators including health policies, safety policies, emergency conditions and personal hygiene; however, they lacked these standards in indicators including health measures, safety measures, attendance, departure and meals/snacks. In general, there was a significant difference between the mean health and safety indices in the schools and the required standards (t=-8.19, P<0.001), and the schools did not meet the required health and safety standards in view of the size of the mean difference. Regarding the role of supervisory authorities and attitudes of staff and parents related to educational environment, it seems that schools need to improve and resolve their deficiencies in various dimensions of health and safety in order to be ready to deal with emergencies. Assessments can be carried out in schools in the form of periodical self-evaluations to improve their performance. In this process, the school environment provides a safer and more enjoyable way for children to learn and create a sense of belonging to the school.
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