Background: Since its independence, Tunisia has made great progress in the prevention of infectious diseases through compulsory vaccination and the normalization of behavior through the instruction of hygiene measures at school. However, social mutations, regional economic disparity and the effect of climate change question the effectiveness of educational interventions at school. Is the current health education model able to cope with new and emerging epidemiological challenges? Methods: This is a cross-sectional survey elaborated in the form of a questionnaire, which included 261 Tunisian school students. In this study, the analysis focuses on the status of handwashing and its place among the management of infectious risk, the identification of practices perceived to be at risk of contracting an infectious disease, and preventive behaviors adopted by the Tunisian school students. Results: A results survey analysis reveals that the practices related to personal hygiene occupy the last position, so only 5.7% of the students questioned affirm to adopt measures related to good personal hygiene and washing hands. A significant difference characterizes the preferred prevention measures according to gender, education level and specialty of the study (sig<0.05) with:Female school students at the preparatory and secondary levels are more likely to opt for body hygiene and handwashing in terms of frequency and different situations of everyday life. 21.6% of female students report washing their hands 10 times a day, compared with 6.5% for male students. 14% of literary students and 0% of scientists cite "personal hygiene" in the last position preferred prevention measures. For situations with potential infectious risk: Only 16.5% of secondary school students report washing their hands "After blowing his nose" and 11,8% "after taking public transport". Didactic analysis of recent Life Sciences textbooks reveals the dominance of the biomedical model aimed at the transmission of information on certain infectious risks and prescribing preventive measures. The promotional model is almost absent. Conclusion: Handwashing is not considered as a preventive measure against infectious diseases but rather as a social imitation. This status of handwashing is correlated with the dominant biomedical model of health education.