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Nutrition Education: It has Never been an Easy Case for Indonesia

Februhartanty, Judhiastuty
child nutrition, consumer attitudes, distance education, educational methods, elementary schools, human resources, malnutrition, nongovernmental organizations, nutrition education, nutrition knowledge, nutritionists, professionals, rural areas, school children, sports, stakeholders, Indonesia
The root of Indonesian education can be traced back to the Dutch colonial period. The country adopts the 6–3–3–4 system of education, which consists of public schooling, Islamic schooling, and out-of-school education. In addition, the country has also been exposed to distance education. The call for this type of education was due to the geographic condition of Indonesia where face-to-face instruction has become limited. Studies on nutrition education in Indonesia covered various topics and teaching methods that were delivered mostly in after-class sessions. Effects on improved knowledge and attitudes were more marked than that of practices in relation to each nutrition topic. Nutrition and its related topics are delivered separately in different school subjects, such as biology, sport, health science, and home economics. Moreover, as the country keeps developing malnutrition problems, the Indonesian government through the Ministry of Health has run a feeding program that covers only children in elementary school aged 6–12 years old both in urban and rural areas. Efforts from private sectors and NGOs on the feeding program for schoolchildren seem to give complementary effects to the existing program. Human resources development of nutrition professionals was started in the early 1950s when a school for food scientists was first established. However, the professionals responsible for delivering nutrition-related topics in the school are the schoolteachers who mostly have never received relevant training for delivering such topics. For achieving effective children's nutrition education through schools, a solid partnership among stakeholders must be encouraged.