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Five-year strategy for amenities in public schools launched

Five-year strategy for amenities in public schools launched

KARACHI: WASH, a five-year strategy for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in schools, said to provide a roadmap for the Education and Literacy Department and partners working on education programmes, was launched by the Sindh Government in collaboration with Unicef Pakistan here on Monday.

According to Pakistan’s education statistics for 2015-16, one-third of public schools here lack bathroom facilities and clean drinking water. In Sindh alone, half of primary schools lack these facilities. It has also been observed that children’s knowledge of health, hygiene and sanitation was low.

It is against this background that WASH seeks to improve access to adequate safe water and bathroom facilities while ensuring school-going children are educated on proper hygiene and sanitation by 2022.

‘One-third of public schools in Pakistan lack bathroom facilities and clean drinking water’

“Providing schools with adequate WASH facilities will go a long way in ensuring active participation of students in learning activities. It will also increase their school attendance while promoting health and hygiene,” said Sindh Minister for Education and Literacy Jam Mehtab Dahar at the launch.

The education minister stated that the strategy had an important role in advancing the province’s efforts to contribute towards Pakistan meeting the sustainable development goals on education, water and sanitation. “I pledge my department’s support in ensuring that the strategy and proposed activities are effectively implemented. The proactive steps outlined for relevant government departments and partners will see key milestones achieved in improving the education outcomes of our children,” he said.

Secretary for School Education and Literacy Department Abdul Aziz Uqaili also said that the Education and Literacy Department was committed to ensuring that all children in the province had access to good quality education, including those with special needs by providing a healthy, hygienic, safe and protective environment for them. “Ensuring access to safe drinking water, proper sanitation and hygiene facilities for school-going children is an integral part of this endeavour,” he said.

Congratulating the government for the approval and successful launch of WASH, Unicef Pakistan’s country representative Christian Munduate said that the strategy provided clear guidelines to address the key problems faced by schools today. “Of equal importance is the need for adequate budgets to ensure adequate supply of water and soap,” she said.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2017

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