Written by: Syed Muhammad Abdullah Hameed - Humqadam/Islamabad
Source & Photos credits: Muhammad Aqeel Qureshi - Humqadam/Sialkot
Because of a lack of access to usable toilets, water, and good hygiene practices in most government schools many children miss school due to bouts of stomach diseases and urinary tract infections. Specifically girls often drop out of school because of a lack of private toilet places to maintain their dignity if they needed to use the toilet while at school.
Humqadam-SCRP has been successful in providing usable toilet cubicles along with new classrooms which is the mainstay of the programme support to government schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces. Thus contributing to better education system in the country by improving overall infrastructure of government schools.
Situated in a remote location of Daska, a tehsil of district Sialkot in Punjab province, Government Primary School (GPS) Dhadu Basra dates back to 1954. The school comprised of only three classrooms and two non-functional toilets. Unfortunately, there was no usable toilet facility leaving no choice to the children forcing them to go to open fields for open defecation or to their homes. In this dire situation the students were unable to concentrate on studies and in most cases miss school. Due to this parents pulled out their children from GPS Dhadu and opted for private schools.
Humqadam-SCRP constructed two new classrooms and two toilet cubicles out of which one for the differently abled people. The school’s new building and toilet block is catering to the needs of 245 students and enabling them to spend more time in class. They’ve also learned about basic hygiene practices. At school students now wash their hands after using the toilet and before eating and they’re sharing these habits with families.
Humqadam-SCRP interventions in Sialkot district catalysed communities taking an active role in improving government school’s standards. In Sialkot district, a total of 103 schools have been handed over to the school management and 42 schools are currently under construction as of June 2018. Humqadam-SCRP is improving the learning environment and educational outcomes with cost-effective and sustainable facilities in government schools across 16 districts of Punjab province.