School Sanitation and Hygiene Education
Updated - Monday 08 December 2003
This TOP focuses on sanitation and hygiene education at the school level. It may be of relevance to practitioners and to academics who are working directly or indirectly on School Sanitation and Hygiene Education (SSHE). For example managers and trainers involved in SSHE programmes operating at the state, district or community level may find the paper useful and it may also assist teachers at the community level who are focusing on certain aspects of SSHE.
Although there are no predetermined steps to creating a successful SSHE programme, the TOP does give insight to a number of elements that the reader should keep in mind for an SSHE project.
The following pages describe:
- Some basic facts and challenges about school sanitation and hygiene education
- Some initiatives taken in SSHE
- The implications of SSHE across the range of levels from policy-making to field activity.
- Steps that can be taken to improve SSHE at the macro and micro level
- Lessons learned and issues which stakeholders should take into consideration
- Important information sources
- Case Studies
- - Download:
- sshe.pdf (172.4 kB)
A schoolchild educated to the benefits of sanitation and good hygiene behaviour is a conduit for carrying those messages far beyond the school walls, bringing lasting improvement not only to his or her health and wellbeing, but also to that of the family and the wider community. It is difficult therefore to over-emphasise the importance of school health and hygiene education (SSHE), the subject of this TOP.
Unfortunately the promises of school health and hygiene education programmes have not always been fulfilled. In many countries schools are not safe for children due to neglect of the operation and maintenance of facilities.
The wisdom of the present builds on lessons from the past. This includes making use of the understanding that has emerged on the important gaps in SSHE.
In most industrialised countries it is almost impossible to imagine a school system or pre-school which is not concerned with the health and hygiene of children. Personal hygiene and hygiene education are usually strongly emphasised.
One of the most important requirements in SSHE is political support at all levels. Among the various stakeholders the policymakers clearly have a crucial role in inspiring interest and providing the base for successful implementation of SSHE programmes.
Monitoring should be an on-going activity in school sanitation and hygiene programmes. Monitoring is not simply collecting information to "see how things are going". It is meant to help improve programmes and activities over the short term.
In this chapter we suggest actions and approaches designed to overcome some of the difficulties and challenges that have led to unsatisfactory results in some past SSHE projects.