Poor water supply, sanitation disrupt school attendances
It has been observed that poor state of water supply and sanitation facilities in schools is a major factor for the declining of pupils` class attendance and their ability to learn.
The observation was made yesterday by different professionals at the annual national debate on water and sanitation in schools held in Dar es Salaam and hosted by the Tanzania Education Network (TEN/MET).
Presenting her paper `Water and Sanitation in Tanzanian schools`, Wilhelmina Malima from WaterAid Tanzania said if schools had access to safe water and sanitation they could embetter health and hence improve school attendance and ability of pupils to learn.
“Better access to safe water, including supplies at schools, reduces time spent in collecting water and in turn, increases time for education,“ she said.
Malima said lack of privacy and safety for girls needing toilets discouraged a number of them from attending schools.
“Many girls do not go to school because of lack of sanitation and water, particularly during menstruation period,“ she said.
For her part, Nkira-Ashisarya Urassa, School Health Programme Focal Person in the Ministry of Education and Vocation Training, said the subject of water and sanitation for primary schools was a great challenge to the public.
She attributed lack of funds for provision of water as the main cause for not meeting the government`s target of Mkukuta.
However, she admitted that inadequate water, hygiene and sanitation had created psychological effect and disturbance for mature girls causing poor attendance and unsatisfactory performance in their studies.
“It is true that inadequate water and sanitation has caused low enrollment, reduced attendance and retention of pupils,“ she observed.