is providing a Healthy and Hygienic
Learning Environment for Young Girls in
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

25th September 2017

Written by Abeera Ahmed
Photo credits: Aamir Ahmad Abdullah, Islamabad/Humqadam

Lacking even the most basic necessities, such as sanitation and hygiene facilities, Government Girls Primary School (GGPS) Sohbat Abad, District Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, presented a bleak education experience for the young students.

Set against the rural backdrop, this was the only primary school in the surrounding areas, and it was considered a health hazard. These sentiments were echoed by the majority of students, teachers, and community members.

Shaheen Begum, Head Mistress, feels her job as a teacher is far easier now that the school has a healthy learning culture.

Shaheen Begum, Head Teacher, shed light on the poor sanitary conditions,

“Our area is quite conservative. There are masses against girls education, especially older girls. Without basic facilities, it was really hard to retain enrolment at school.”

Humqadam-SCRP constructed two new classrooms, and more important, three new toilets to meet the needs of more than 200 students. These toilet blocks are a means to improve health and cognitive development, increase girls’ attendance, and to develop positive hygiene behaviours. A new spirit of hope is noticeable among the students who are now excited and enthusiastic about their school.

Asma and her siblings are some of the students of GGPS Sohbat Abad who have re-enrolled after the new toilets and classrooms were constructed in their school.

Asma, a student at the school said,

“The school was an uncomfortable place, my siblings and I had dropped out. We are thankful that the new toilets and classrooms have been constructed. Now that the school has become beautiful, we can resume our studies.”

Across the provinces of Punjab and KP, Humqadam is working in earnest to promote a positive narrative about education. Part of that narrative is the provision of a child-friendly physical environment and school Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). So far, in 163 completed schools across KP, 622 new student toilets have been constructed.

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