Cleanlink News | 12/13/2012
Schools Require Handwashing As Part Of Student Schedule
To reduce absenteeism and illness in schools, the Ministry of Human Resource Development in India has instructed all schools where children attend lunch to include time for proper handwashing. The program, WASH (water, Sanitation and Hygiene) in School, includes not only the children, but also cafeteria workers and teachers.
The goal of this program is keep kids healthy and in school. Officials also claim that this once children understand the benefits of proper hand hygiene, they will continue the practice in the home.
According to IndianExpress reporting, the program makes five recommendations:
• Create a dedicated slot in the daily schedule to allow time for all students and staff to wash hands
• Ensure the availability of soap
• Provide proper water availability
• Monitor the activity of students and staff
• Generate comprehensive data on schools' water and sanitation systems.
Similar handwashing programs have been implemented in the United States, but they fall short of being required. In India, though, these requirements can have a significant impact. According to reports:
• The lack of access to running water in poorer urban areas of India has an impact on basic hygiene. In an attempt to use water judiciously, many people do not wash their hands as frequently as they should.
• The fight for survival means that people look for food, water and shelter; the need for hygiene falls low on the list. But, these basic survival skills can prevent serious illnesses.