Enabling Policy Environment for Wash in Schools

Bangladesh WorkIn 2003, government approved Primary Education Development Program (PEDP)-II WASH in Schools was one of the components there. In 2011, The PEDP–III has been developed with a significant emphasis on WASH in Schools. Under this program, 128,955 toilets and 39,300 tube-well in the primary schools will be constructed. In 2011, the government approved National Standard for WASH-in-Schools.

But there is no National Plan of Action on WinS in Bangladesh. There are other alternative plans of action such as the Sector Development Plan of Policy Support Unit of Bangladesh and the Bangla SAN declaration of course. The most comprehensive planning in this area of water supply and sanitation has so far been the Sector Development Plan (SDP) 2011-2025, designed by relevant organizations of the country and led by Local Government Division under the ministry of local government and Rural Development & Cooperation (MOLGRD&C). Previously an SDP 2007-2011 was put in place which had analyzed relevant national & international policies and strategies.

PEDP-III has a National Plan for budget allocation in WinS activity. The Bangladesh Government will implement WASH in Schools programming with close collaboration and coordination with UN bodies, INGOs, NGOs and others.

Quality and Coverage of WASH in Schools Programming

bangladesh-latrineFor several decades UNICEF, Save the Children and other organizations supported the development of materials to promote school level health hygiene education, and piloted their tools/materials in primary schools. The WinS materials include different guidebooks such as the teacher’s guide (“Better Health, Better Education”), training modules, poster flip chart, flash card, weight & height scale, class routine, cartoons like Mina, games etc.
Toolkits /materials are being used throughout the country sporadically. But government should finalize the toolkits which are child friendly/appropriate or not. Just recently, the government finalized the National standard of WASH in Schools. The curriculum did not have enough space for hygiene promotion. There is a functional Educational Management Information System (EMIS) where monitoring issues is addressed but no specific WASH monitoring and analysis is done from that EMIS. For several decades UNICEF, Save the Children and other organizations supported the development of materials to promote school-level health hygiene education and piloted their tools/materials in the primary school.

A little less than 94% of the schools have latrines within the school compounds. Of the surveyed latrines, 92.2% are of the improved category. However, this figure has declined to 91.2% in terms of hygienic latrines.
The government has a standard for pupils: latrines/toilet is 60:1. Almost no school maintains these standards. Around 84% have one access to drinking water within the school compound, which are mostly shallow tube-wells, deep tube-wells, made of Tara pumps or piped water. The government has a standard for pupils: hand-washing facilities is 1000:1. There is no school where this ratio is maintained. 42% of school authorities reported that they supply soap/detergent for hand washing of pupils during the critical events, such as before taking foods and after using latrines. In contrast, soap/detergent was observed at or near the place of hand-washing only in 17.3% of the schools.


Organizations Working in Wash in Schools


Save the Children

Plan International Bangladesh