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We can do a lot better. Is there a place that I can go and get examples on technical design manuals on WASH in Schools, ways to incorporate Menstrual Hygiene Management in to WASH in Schools programming, Examples of National Plans of Actions on WASH in schools programming, Difficult to go guide colleagues and practitioners to a place where everyone in the sector is connected the each other, the teachers, headmasters, Academia, NGos , donors, Govts etc to get what they are looking for and to share what they have done good with others… . I know a lot of richness and experience is out there, but I do not think we are a community of practice that is well connected. I guess the announcement on this edebate goes to 1000+ professionals, Let’s see how many comments we will get!
Yes Teachers and headmasters are great innovators in finding solutions to challanges they face. These challanges include WASH in Schools related issues such as keeping soap available at hand washing stands, keeping latrines clean, and maintaning water supply points etc. however as the standards are not clear, mechanisms are not established for enforcement of standards then it is left as a load(sometimes overburden) for tecahers to maintain them. Even there is no goal set (and not monitored) for WASH in Schools ? Do you have a givernment goal for reaching universal WASH coverage in schools in bangladesh?
• There are many positive examples where agencies and Government get together to recognize the issue. I.e. CARE Mali, Oxfam GB, Save the Children Federation, UNICEF and Water Aid have joined forces and developed a partnership to strategically scale-up WASH in Schools throughout the country. The development of this partnership has been designed within the framework of the Government of Mali’s WASH-related national strategies and priorities. As a result, 16,000,000 USD have been allocated by Dubai Cares to the UNICEF-led partnership in order to roll out an innovative and large scale WASH school program in Mali. This has attracted other donors to join and priorities WASH in Schools in Mali.
Yes, We have completely failed in setting standards for WASH in Schools. There are many guidelines for many other issues on WASH- however where are the standards, which are legally legislated and enforced. Are there schools closed because they do not meet the standards as they are unfit for human habitation? How many Ministries of Educations monitoring systems effectively capture the issue of sanitation coverage in schools? Do they use the data for decision making for improved allocations for WASH in Schools programming?
The challange is great and we have to face it. from my perspective setting standards for WASh in schools, monitoring WASH in Schools coverages and taking approriate actions to increase access and utilization of facilities is improtant. We have come forward along way in facing the reality that many schools lack acess to facilities. Nowadays national montiroing systems reflect these. (National Surveys or statistics from Ministries) by this way we are putting this unrecognized or untold problem of lack of access to WinS facilities to the table of policy and decision makers. Number of countries recognizing the issue is increasing and this is a great success ( You do not anymore meet Gov officials or aid admistrators saying that there is no problem in access to facilities in schools/. We are now at a stage where we recognize the problem and we are acting on it). i.e. Number of UNICEF country offices implementing WASH in schools programs more then doubled from 2003 and we are now, in 2010, having 94 countries reporting on implementation of WASH in Schools programs.
Fulfilling every child’s right to water, sanitation and hygiene education remains a major challenge for policymakers, school administrators and communities in many countries. The number of UNICEF Supported Countries Implementing WASH in Schools programmes has nearly doubled since 2002 . This shows that we are increasingly recognizing the challenge and acting on it. I.e. In India, Number of schools having drinking water facility increased from 9.35 lakhs (83.2%) in 2005-06 to 12.19 (93.5%) in 2009-10, Number of schools having toilet facility has increased from 5.89 lakhs (52.4%) in 2005-06 to 10.47 (80.3%) in 2009-10 according to PAISA2010. This shows that we are moving in the right direction but challenge still remains high as number of schools having separate toilet facility for is still around (59.5%) in India.
We are also doing better in documenting our experiences and contributing to evidence base. According to raising Clean Hands When hand washing is practiced in facilities such as day-care centres and primary schools, studies show a 30 per cent reduction in diarrhea cases. Washing hands with soap could reduce acute respiratory infections – including pneumonia, which kills more children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined – by 25 per cent.