On February, 26th 2018, CISDI (Center for Indonesia’s Strategic Development Initiatives) through collaboration with The Australia-Indonesia Centre Health Cluster delivered a program called PROGRESIF (Program Generasi Sehat dan Kreatif; Healthy and Creative Generation Program). The project aimed to deliver the innovative approaches to primary prevention of adolescent smoking. One of the delivered innovations was to provide teachers with training on how to provide tobacco education and prevention in the existing school curriculum.
Each year, 6,000,000 people die globally from tobacco-attributable diseases, and as many as 600,000 passive smokers die from the effects of cigarette smoke. The rapid increase in cigarette consumption from year to year has caused Indonesia to have the highest number of male smokers in the world. In 2010, 190,260 people died from tobacco-attributable diseases, accounting for 12.7% of all deaths in the same year.
In Indonesia, cigarette consumption has reached an epidemic level that threatens its population, particularly young generation. One out of five children aged 13-15 years in Indonesia has already tried smoking, with one out of three children trying tobacco for the first time before the age of 10. Thus, one of the particular concerns in Indonesia is the high rate of adolescent smokers. The Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) indicated that Indonesia has one of the highest numbers of teenage smokers in the world.
Through rigorous evidence-based research, CISDI delivers PROGRESIF as the innovative approach to tackle the aforementioned issue in order to achieve smoke-free generation. PROGRESIF has three primary levels of details, which include the module integration with existing curriculum education system and empowering teachers in tobacco control activities as the fundamental step. The program also aims to improve the capacity youth volunteers in tobacco control issues and deliver soft skills development for students. On its core element and the initial program, PROGRESIF provides the integration of a teacher-lead module on tobacco use harms into the existing education curriculum for students in 7th grades. The effort proposed is expected to improve the knowledge and perceptions of the students about smoking behavior.
The project was held at SMPN 97 Jakarta, East Jakarta and attended by teachers and vice principals of SMPN 97 and SMPN 7 Jakarta. Realizing youth as the target, CISDI invited Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB), an NGO focusing on youth development, and volunteers to increase the engagement. Through this opportunity, Egi Abdul Wahid, Program Manager of CISDI, elaborated the importance of the program and the fact that junior high school students have become one of the main targets of cigarette industry which intensively use cigarette advertisement to attract adolescent's interest and facilitate easier access to get the cigarette.
Teachers were arranged in several groups based on their teaching subject and asked to discuss the possibility of integrating the module into their curriculum. They considered the materials were very applicable in their schools and educational context. Represented by Sri Sundari, a citizenship education teacher, she was convinced and ready to implement the cigarette integration modules in their teaching process. Integrated subjects included in this workshop are Natural Sciences (IPA), Social Sciences (IPS), Indonesian Language, Mathematics and Citizenship Education (PKN).
The module comes as an innovation by focusing four messages, which include information about content and the danger of cigarettes, the advertisement method and media promotion of tobacco industry, smoking areas, and the impact of smoking on health and economy. The given knowledge is expected to make the students easier to understand the danger of cigarettes and able to influence their decision.
Another important aspect is to make sure that the delivered messages can be well conveyed to the students. Gilbert Claymondt, a representative of YCAB, gave an interactive session on the improvement of the teaching process. He stated that as a teacher, it is essential to make a learning environment as exciting as possible and conducive for students to grasp the information. He also provided materials about communication and interaction skills for teachers, particularly concerning the utilization of recreative learning method.
Investing in our shared future by preventing youth tobacco use is one of the ways of the comprehensive tobacco control program. School-based smoking prevention programs are considered to be one of the most effective strategies for reducing adolescence’s initiation of smoking behavior. Teachers have been shown to be a significant vanguard population for tobacco control; they are an epitome of community norms. Supported with the right tools, CISDI believes that teachers can efficiently embed useful information on the negative impacts of tobacco consumption into their teaching modules in a way that is tailored to the students’ characteristics and their respective subjects.