Nepal: Govt. to construct girl-friendly toilets in 5500 schools

The government is all set to construct girl-friendly toilets in 5500 community schools throughout the country to enroll more girl students in the schools. The government has allocated Rs. 1.1 billion [US$ 15 million] for the purpose. According to Department of Education, the drop out rate of girl students has increased due to lack of girl-friendly toilet in schools.

The school enrollment rate of girl students is 87 percent in primary level and 84 percent in secondary level. However, the drop out rate is 7 percent in primary level and 11 percent in secondary level (class 10).

“Various researches and studies have shown that dearth of girl friendly toilet in school premises is one of the reasons for girl students’ dropping out of schools. Therefore, the government has given priority to toilet construction in schools,” the Department of Education states.

“Menstruating girl students often remain absent due to lack of separate toilets for them,” said Gita Kharel, Principal, Ratna Rajya School Baneshwor, adding, “The government is doing a good job of constructing girl-friendly toilets this year.” “There is need of such toilets in the districts outside the Kathmandu Valley,” she added.

Deputy Director and chief of Gender Equity Section at Department of Education Ganesh Prasad Poudel told that the government is allocating Rs. 200,000 [US$ 2,730) to each community school for constructing a toilet. “In the absence of separate toilets for girls and boys, many girl students do not attend school regularly. Therefore, the government has given priority to construction of girl-friendly toilet,” said Poudel, adding, “We will construct necessary infrastructures so that girl students can change their sanitary pads during their menstruation period and maintain personal hygiene.” There are 32,000 community schools throughout the country.

Related web site: WASH in Schools

Source: Kantipur / NGO Forum, 31 Jan 2011

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