AIA Malaysia is making a powerful commitment to the well-being of children with the launch of the AIA Healthiest Schools program. Introduced by AIA Group in 2022 as part of AIA’s ESG strategy, this transformative initiative has been extended to Malaysian shores following its resounding success in four of AIA’s 18 markets.
The program aims to educate students aged 5 to 16 about vital health aspects, including nutrition, physical activity, mental well-being, and sustainability within the school environment.This is a response to concerning health trends among Malaysian youth, as revealed by the 2022 National Health and Morbidity Survey.
The survey found that, shockingly, one-third of Malaysian teenagers aged 13-17 are battling overweightness or obesity, putting them at risk of chronic diseases typically associated with older adults. Additionally, there is a worrying surge in mental health challenges among younger children, with around 1 in 20 Malaysian children aged five to nine experiencing various mental disorders, including anxiety and depression.
Supported by the Ministry of Education, the AIA Healthiest Schools program will offer educators a wealth of accessible resources. These tools will be designed for seamless integration into existing teaching methodologies, making it easier for teachers to introduce essential health and well-being concepts into classrooms nationwide, regardless of type, level or status.
To bring this vision to life, AIA Malaysia will also be partnering with LeapEd, an organization dedicated to whole-school transformation. Together, they will provide free downloadable resources in multiple languages, including videos, activities, lesson plans, and games. Interactive teacher workshops will be scheduled in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, and Ipoh, facilitating the seamless incorporation of the program into the educational framework.
AIA Malaysia’s CEO, Ben Ng, emphasized the urgent need to improve children’s health, stressing AIA’s role as advocates for ‘Healthier, Longer, Better Lives.’ The initiative provides accessible resources to foster health literacy and better well-being among Malaysian youth. As such, he looks forward to robust engagement from schools and teachers across the nation.
Beyond education, the AIA Healthiest Schools program is also a celebration of achievements. It includes a spirited competition designed to encourage participating schools to showcase their positive impact on student well-being, facilitating the exchange of best practices and innovative ideas around health and wellness. Prizes totalling USD 100,000 await the schools that excel in promoting health and well-being!
AIA has also made the teaching resources easily available. To find out more about the AIA Healthiest Schools program or gaining access to these teaching resources, head on over to their program website linked here.