Education is one of the fundamental rights. In order to keep pace with other fast developing countries, attention needs to be paid to girls’ education. There is some indifference towards girls’ education in rural areas of Bangladesh. Because parents think that girls will only manage the family. These thoughts are worrisome in this age so it is important to develop the girls of our country as educated people.
In Meherpur district, the national non-governmental organization SKS Foundation is implementing a project called Wash in Institution in collaboration with WaterAid Bangladesh. In particular, the WASH facilities included in the project in school sanitation are helping to increase the capacity of stakeholders such as teachers, school management committee, parent teacher association and student hand washing monthly hygiene management. In addition, the project has set up management and maintenance systems by raising wash funds in each school.
The project is currently collaborating with 12 secondary schools and madrasas where 4922 students have received wash facilities and about 3212girls students have access to monthly hygienic management in their schools. Needless to say, before the start of the project, there was zero percent monthly sanitation, 45 percent hand washing facilities and 55 percent safe drinking water. In this project of Water Aid, wash facility has been provided in some selected schools on the advice of Upazila Education Department and local administration.
Improved facilities include monthly health benefits for boys and girls considering their gender. Along with a path with a ramp, hand washing facilities with running water, proportional based toilet room facilities to ensure the quality of drinking water by installing or re-sinking tubewells for safe drinking water. Moreover, the project arranged training for the guardians and teachers. Orientation has been given to the female students through classroom sessions on hand washing and menstrual health management. In order to keep the facilities running in the school, an average of Tk 60,000 has been given to each school as FDR. The wash block will be managed from the profits received from the FDR.
“I used to absent from school 4 days in a month because of my period. Due to inadequate school facilities and I also have no clear massage to manage time during school hours. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to use such clean and hygienic toilet facilities including monthly health management, ”said Rehana Khatun, a student of class nine at SaharbatiEbadatkhana School in Gangni Upazila. Selina Khatun, a teacher at JTS Girls School in Gangni, said that now a days there is an open discussion about the menstrual health of girls and womenteachers.
District Education Officer Mahfuzul Hossain saidthat the district education department is happy to get the school wash facilities included in the project and we will try to replicate the whole model across the district using other development funds so that we can cover the whole district and ensure quality education.