Enabling Policy Environment for Wash in Schools
- Being a country with a low population/surface ratio, the distinction between rural and urban situation in WASH in general, and WASH in Schools is important. There exist significant gaps in WASH in Schools provisions between rural and urban schools.
- The Ministry of Water and Environment through its decentralized institute SENASBA (National Service for the Sustainability of Basis Sanitation Services), in close coordination with the Ministry of Education, started the National Sanitary Education Program in 2010 in its initial phase. The program focuses on water saving, safe water consumption, water borne diseases, safe sanitation conditions, waste management and hygiene promotion.
- Municipalities are responsible for education infrastructure in general, which implies limited or disperse focus on WASH infrastructure.
- The FPS (National Fund for Productive and Social Investment) has been the lead national agency for years for water and sanitation infrastructure building, and probably disposes of standards for sanitation infrastructure in schools, though these are not shared by the Education Ministry
The National Sanitary Education Program has 6 main components:
- Curriculum construction
- Implementation of integrated education projects
- Production of education materials
- Investigation and development of new technologies and methodologies for WASH intervention
- Training and actualization on sanitary education and environmental education
The Ministry of Health and Sports has been participating in the National Sanitary Education Program initiatives so far, so we can consider it as a multi-sectorial initiative, with participation of the Ministry of Water and Environment, Education and Health.
The budget issue should be defined through this national program; however, this will take time.
Quality and Coverage of WASH in Schools Programming
The Ministry of Education has an Information Management System (SIE – Education Information System), which includes not only the data on number of students, but also infrastructure and sanitation infrastructure present in each school unit. Actualization is on an annual basis, though processing results takes time. Therefore, WASH infrastructure/provisions data presented here are 2007 data, while student population are 2009 data.
UNICEF, since 1989, had a strong focus on rural school infrastructure and hygiene in its WES program.