School Community Participation and School Health Promotion : challenges and Opportunities
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Issues surrounding community participation at schools are frequently debated in South African education spheres. However, communities remain not totally convinced to participate in health promoting activities at schools. In this paper I report on the importance of community participation in health promotion processes at schools and elaborate on what community participation entails, its levels and reasons for non-participation. Data was generated from two strata: principals and chairpersons of health committees by means of semi-structured one-to-one interviews. The findings revealed that participating schools had an opportunity to build strong links with community organisations to sustain their School Health Promotion initiatives but failed due to lack of trust and leadership. The challenge in these schools is lack of understanding of community participation and its benefits.