School Hygiene Promotion Programme in Raipur

Satish Awate and Sarita Thakore , Centre for Environment Education
A two-year School Hygiene Promotion Programme was initiated in 2006 in twenty-one schools from urban, peri urban and rural areas of Raipur, Chhattisgarh. The programme supported by WaterAid India and implemented by Centre for Environment Education focused on creating enabling factors for school hygiene and sanitation.

School Selection
In the initial stage, an assessment of the existing water, sanitation condition of the schools was done. About 40 schools were visited; the Principals were interviewed and information collated. The schools were from the urban, peri urban and rural areas of Raipur district. The filled forms were analyzed and a profile of each school was prepared.

Based on this information, twenty-one schools were selected for the School Hygiene Promotion Programme. The selection was done on the basis of the hardware conditions, school strength, mix of primary and middle schools, and the location of the schools.

Knowledge-Attitude-Practice (KAP) Study
To understand WatSan practices and hygiene behaviour of students before designing any activities for them, a study to assess students perceptions, aspirations, knowledge, attitude and practices (behaviour) pertaining to water, sanitation, health and hygiene issue was undertaken for students of Standard I to VIII.

Of the 7000 students, 10 per cent of the students were covered through the sample study. Groups of 7-10 students from each class from primary and middle section were formed; a set of questions to assess these aspects was prepared. The questions were framed to understand student’s general understanding on personal hygiene and sanitation, water storage and handling, food; their practices regarding these aspects. Observations, interaction with students helped in designing the content for teacher training.

Textbook Analysis
The State Board textbooks of language, Science and Social Science of Std I to VIII were analyzed to assess presence of content on water and sanitation, the treatment and depth, and teaching approaches. The analysis was shared with teachers to obtain their views on the analysis done, and their inputs on effective ways to enrich classroom learning. The teachers gave suggestions on improving the presentation of these concepts in the textbook as well as methodology to transact the same in the classroom.

Teacher Training Workshop
Orientation of teachers to Water and Sanitation to inculcate good hygiene behaviour among students was one strategy to promote hygiene education. A two-day training workshop was organized for selected teachers from these schools. These teachers were then to become Swachata Club in-charge for their respective schools and to guide students to carry out club activities. Twenty-three teachers participated in this workshop.

Various approaches like games, demonstration, audio-video, creative writing and art/craft were tried focusing on key WatSan messages to bring in desired changes among student behaviour as well as to create demand for improvement, and maintenance of WatSan facilities in the school. Each approach tried during the workshop was concluded with a discussion on the teaching approach, for the teachers to give their feedback and their understanding about the utility and practicality of the approach tried. At the workshop, the teachers found the games, audio-video, folk songs and poem in Chhattisgarhi as an effective way of communicating WatSan messages to students.

Stakeholders Meeting
One part of the project was actual improvement of the WatSan facilities and constructing model units, with a view to reach out to the community through students and enhance the demand for WatSan facilities.

A day-long meeting was organized in order to provide a platform for stakeholders to share their understanding and experiences about water and sanitation. The meeting was attended by respective School Principals, Janbhagidari Samiti Adhyaksh (PTA head), Sarpanch of the village, Parshads (Corporator in case of Nagar Nigam schools), officials from Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission (State Mission, SSA) and PHED. The facilities for drinking water and sanitation of these schools were presented and discussed.

A role play exercise was done to help each stakeholder understand their roles and responsibilities in improving facilities in the schools. The participants were divided into groups of ‘Sarpanch’, ‘Principals’, ‘Parents’ and ‘Janbhagidari Samiti’. The exercise was effective; though there were differences of viewpoints, but collectively all agreed that it is a shared responsibility and each one has a role to play.

Hygiene Classes in Schools and Formation of Swachata Clubs
To reinforce the message of health, hygiene and sanitation, permission to conduct one-hour session in each class by CEE was obtained from District Education Officer. A time table was worked out in consultation with principal and teacher-in-charge of Swachata Club for each school. The main messages of the activities were related to safe water handling, personal hygiene, food hygiene, safe disposal of human and animal, solid waste and waste water, safe treatment behavior in case of diarrhea and formation of Swachata Clubs in these schools.

Swachta Clubs
It was decided in the workshop that students of Std. 4 and 5 be taken as club members. The younger students could be involved in classroom activities etc. Thus, it was decided to select 10 students from Std. 4th and 5th and 15 students from 6th, 7th and 8th as club members and the clubs were formed. The selection of students was based on their activeness, interest as well parents consent. The teachers-in-charge guided club members for its overall functioning. The club has four sub committees vis a vis their roles are as below:

  1. Water Committee looked after drinking water facilities like cleanliness near hand pump, drum/tank, ladles, glasses etc. and also to spread the messages for cleanliness of talab (pond) and hand pump at community places.
  2. Health Committee was responsible to look after cleanliness during mid-day meal, that students wash hands before eating and after using toilet, nails are cut and overall personal hygiene of students is maintained.
  3. Swachata Committee was responsible to look after sanitation facility, the cleanliness of urinals, toilets, water facility for hand-washing available near toilet/urinals.
  4. Monitoring Committee was responsible to look after overall cleanliness of school campus, classroom cleanliness, etc.

It was easy to form the Swachata club in primary and middle schools. But school that have high school and higher secondary and the number of students is much larger, it was difficult for the monitors from middle school to manage their work as older students were also users.

Training of Swachata Club Members
A training programme for members of these clubs was organized in each school. The focus of the training programme was hygiene practices to be followed under various samitis of swachata club, how to involve other students in the samiti work, rotation of members under various samitis to share the responsibilities with other students. The training included:

  • Introduction and ice-breaking activity of club members, what is Swachata Club, the role of the club and the tasks to be done
  • Discussion of seven messages of hygiene and sanitation,
  • Activities – Hand wash, F-chart {practice with turmeric powder}, proper way of hand washing, game of rope & ladder for good and bad practices.
  • Distribution of I cards
  • How to check cases of diarrhea and ways of curing it and precautions
  • Water quality testing
  • Fieldwork {Cleaning of school premises and check up of personal hygiene} of club members with other students
  • Revision of role and responsibilities of club members

Activities conducted during hygiene classes
Discussion on hygiene and sanitation messages through participatory methods
Discussion on roles and responsibilities (members along with all students of the class)
Using various demonstrations, creative art, films to understand hygiene and sanitation messages
Field work and cleaning activities

In order to share experiences and learnings of students and teachers, a one-day Balmela in all project schools was conducted near the year end, with many activities, as follows:

Ropes and ladder focusing on health and sanitation was played with the kids.
The game is developed in a way that it covers all the messages of hygiene practices. This
game was one of the favorite of all the activities conducted during the mela.
Best out of Waste
Dustbin painting is an innovative way to inculcate message of ‘Best out of Waste’ and concept of reusing was tried out in mela. Old used oil tin dabbas were bought and painted with turpentine and red oxide paint to prevent rust. These rust proof dabbas were painted green by students during the mela of their respective schools. Each school started to use these painted dustbins for each of their classrooms.
The theme for Rangoli was Hamari Pathshala, Swachcha Pathshala; Hamara Gaon, Swachcha Gaon
Themes for painting were Hamari Pathshala, Swachha Pathshala; Hamara Paryavaran; Pani ka Rakh Rakhav; and Vaiyaktik Swachchata
Slogan writing
Students wrote Health and Sanitation related slogans which were later used during the rally
Voice of children
Students were asked to write down what in their opinion forms ‘good health and sanitation facility and practice’. Initially they thought it is exam since piece of paper with their name and school name etc. was given to them to write down. CEE Hygiene Educators cleared their doubts. They voiced their opinion on the following theme:
1. Hum Apne Aaspaas Swachtta Kaise Rakh Sakte hai
2. Jal Stroton Ko Saf Kaise Rakh saktein hain
3. Bimario Se Swayam Ko Kaise Bachayen
4. Shala Mai Peyjal Va Shauchalaya Ki Suvdha Kaisi Ho
5. Shauchalaya Ka Upyog Kyon Karana Chahiye

Health checkup
Health check up counter was set during mela. Volunteers were identified
from the Swachhta Club members and were oriented to what are the aspects that need to be
checked during check-up activity. They were given a format also to fill while checking.

Hand washing and nail cutting
Students whose hands were not clean and nails not cut were assisted by volunteers to wash their hands properly using soap and helped in cutting their nails.

During the project period two new bore well hand pumps were installed in two Government School. The selection of schools was done based on drinking water availability and the physical condition and location in the school. Government school at Jora village was provided with new bore well hand pump. This school was selected as the school had no drinking water facility and students have to go to a road side community hand-pump.

One new bore well hand-pump was installed at Bhatagaon Government School. Though the school had a bore-well hand-pump, this was near a nullah and therefore it was not being used for drinking purpose.

Fundhar Government School had a bore-well without hand-pump. A pipe connection was given instead of hand pump to collect the water. This was operated through a motor pump. This wasted lot of water during break when motor was switched on and if no one collected water. The school was given option to install a new hand-pump to this bore-well, but they insisted to have water tank to collect the water. Thus this school was given with a water tank with taps. A separate connection from this tank to newly constructed urinal was given so that there was water in urinals also. All the water sources of the schools have been tested, water quality was found to be potable/ drinkable. None of the sources were found to be contaminated.

Due to lack of basic sanitation facility there was a big hindrance in the proper and conducive learning environment, the surrounding of the school was becoming dirty and girls hesitated to come to the school. Thus, prioritizing the sanitation facilities on various criteria like availability, condition, location, separate sanitation blocks for girls and boys were constructed in three (Manabasti, Dharampura, Temri) Government Schools. Each sanitation block was fitted with force-lift hand pump, ensuring water supply facility without depending on electricity.

Separate urinals for girls and boys were constructed in Fundhar School. This was the first experience for CEE Chhattisgarh State Office to construct hardware in schools. The School Sanitation Block constructed is not just a sanitation facility but a model to demonstrate participation of School authority and Gram Panchayat in the construction process as well showcase a model of regular supply of water to sanitation facility without depending on electricity.

The unique feature of this model was that a force-lift has been installed to the hand pump from which water supply connection is given to sanitary block. Assuming that water released on using hand pump is not entirely used and gets wasted, this water could be diverted through a pipe to the sanitary block and overhead tank is filled. With this installation whenever the hand pump is used apart from students drinking the water the water which gets wasted is lifted to fill the overhead tank. Thus water is efficiently used without any electricity.

This work brought various learning to CEE Chhattisgarh team including coordinating with various stakeholders; building trust among each other; following norms, procedures laid internally as well as by funding agency; quality and procurement of material; timing of construction.

The villagers had not heard about the force lift system before. When the WaterAid trained mistri from Lalitpur, Uttar Pradesh came and installed and demonstrated its use, he shared his experience as well as showed an efficient way of using water. The construction work not only provided the school children with a toilet but it also created awareness in the Panchayat and village community about requirement of water-sanitation facility in the school and finding low cost technology solutions. School Education department has also shown its willingness to install force lift hand pumps in each school.

The Future
Over two years of implementing ‘Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Schools’ programme, through various interactions with teachers, education department as well as PHED, it is felt to link the programme with SSHE programme in the State. Considering the district as a unit, a baseline survey of about 2000 schools of Raipur district has been carried out to understand the water and sanitation condition of these schools. The key strategy for scaling up the programme is to demonstrate SSHE model for Government System at Block and District units and targeting all ‘actors/stakeholders’ with their respective role.

For more information contact:
Chhattisgarh State Office
HIG-C/3, Shailendra Nagar
Raipur 492 001
Ph: 0771 4051391

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