Guests from the Government of Bhutan visited the Fit for School Program last July 4-7, 2017. Ms. Deki Tshomo, Ministry of Education, and Ms. Yeshey Lhaden, Ministry of Health, were eager to learn from the experience of WASH in Schools (WinS) implementation in the Philippines. Upon arriving, the guests visited the Department of Education Central Office to meet with Dr. Ella Cecilia Gamolo-Naliponguit, Assistant Director of the Bureau of Learner Support Services, who provided an overview of the development of a nation-wide WinS monitoring system in the Philippines.
In the two days that followed, they had a look at the implementation of WinS in the Western Visayas Region where they learned about the Region’s journey, beginning in late 2014 under the UNICEF-supported SBM-WinS approach to post-disaster recovery until the current results of the latest WinS monitoring. They also learned about the implementation in Guimaras, which started out as a pilot province for the Essential Health Care Program in 2009 with three years support from UNICEF. At the two elementary schools that they visited, they were able to appreciate the ownership of the WinS program by all stakeholders and how the students enjoyed the daily group activities.
On the final day of their visit, the visitors met with the Fit for School team to share some of the challenges from Bhutan and to discuss strategies that have been used by the Fit for School Program in South East Asia to improve WinS. All participants were very pleased with the collaborative and fruitful experience and together look forward to continuing technical exchange.