More than 70% of schools have water for hand washing

About 86.7 percent of schools in the country, including extended classrooms (ECRs) have access to improved water source such as piped water supply and protected spring. This is according to the Annual Education Statistics 2017.

In some schools (7.2 percent), however, water is drawn from unprotected spring. 6.1 percent of the schools reported not having improved water source.

A total of 16.1 percent of schools has water source from protected spring and 70.5 percent with piped water.

The data were collected from all 515 schools and 90 ECRs in the country, including Muenselling Institute at Khaling, and Wangsel institute in Paro.

The report stated that although schools have proper water facilities, significant number of schools reported having no enough water supplies.

But 100 percent of special institutes, 48 percent of ECRs, and 68 percent of the primary and secondary schools have functional water supply.

Of the 515 schools in the country, 84 percent have sufficient water for drinking but only 54 percent have sufficient water for bathing. More than 70 percent schools have water only enough for hand washing.

When it comes to the access to improved sanitation, all schools in the country have at least basic toilets. 10 percent of the schools still have pit toilets and 68 percent have flush toilets. The report stated that 17 percent of the schools did not provide data on sanitation.

Only one percent of the schools have composting toilet, pit latrine without slab, pit latrine with slab, and improved pit latrine. Majority of the ECRs and primary schools have pit toilets.

The national standard is one toilet for every 40 boys. All the schools in the country meet the standard. However, most of the lower, middle, and higher secondary schools do not meet the national standard of one toilet for every 25 girls.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools aims to address the needs of adolescent girls to attend schools regularly apart from having positive affect on children’s health and education outcome.

According to the report, more than 80 percent of the toilets in the schools is fully functional.

More than 90 percent of the schools in the country have trained school health coordinators, but only 22 percent of schools in the country have a school care taker who are trained to repair and maintain the water supply scheme.

Yangchen C Rinzin

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