Authors: Roberto Javier, Jr., Marites Tiongco, and Melvin Jabar

Research Article

Year: 2019, Volume 19 Number 3

Pages: 16-29

Abstract

This paper describes the level of health literacy among middle school students in the Philippines. It specifically determines their level of knowledge of health as well as their health-related skills, attitudes, and values. This paper assumes that middle school children, being part of the iGeneration, will have a higher level of health literacy owing to their better access to Internet technology. School-age children in the Philippines who were born in the early years of 2000 have grown up with high technology such that they have at their fingertips all sources of knowledge about health. Aside from the Internet, students are also taught different health and nutrition-related knowledge in many school subjects, including science, health, and physical education. The study involved 855 middle school students (grades 6 to 9) selected through purposive sampling. They came from 12 private/public elementary/junior high schools, urban/peri-urban/rural areas, and places in the north and south of the Philippines. The results reveal that the middle school students have low to very low level of health literacy. This presents a bigger challenge to the basic health education in the country. Middle school children may not necessarily consider health as a pressing priority in their daily lives. Instead of familiarizing themselves with health topics, they are preoccupied using the Internet for other purposes. Thus, this necessitates basic education to carefully rethink how best to integrate health literacy in the curriculum using different strategies of learning and teaching.

Keywords: Filipinos, Filipino youth, health, health education, health literacy, iGeneration