Phnom Penh, 1 November 2018 – Monitoring the implementation progress of the Minimum Requirement Guidelines for WASH in Schools is crucial to assess the effectiveness of past activities and for planning future activities. Since 2016, the Fit for School program supports the Provincial Office of Education, Youth and Sports (PoEYS) of Kampot province in the implementation process. The main focus of the program in Kampot is to strengthen existing structures and procedures, and support education sector officials with developing and testing innovative ideas where needed.
As part of the Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 6, monitoring WASH in Schools nationwide is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS). While the national EMIS system covers important aspects of WASH, it does not allow for detailed subnational planning. The Minimum Requirement Guidelines on WASH in Schools, on the other hand, are created for school communities to improve their WASH situation step-by-step. The World Food Program cooperated with the Fit for School program in creating a digital open source monitoring tool, which allows subnational officers to digitalize paper-based monitoring forms with little effort.
The results from Kampot province are showing promising progress! 97% of primary schools achieve at least one Star – an increase by 7% from the previous year! The share of 2 Star schools increased by 20% to now half of all 309 primary schools in Kampot province. Kampot is the first province for which complete data sets on schools´ performance against Minimum Requirements indicators is available. However, in exciting news, the MoEYS plans to monitor all schools throughout Cambodia in the beginning of the new school year in November, by attaching the Checklist to the Annual School Census forms. Fit for School will support the School Health Department in analyzing the data gathered for all schools nationwide for the first time.
To better understand the enabling factors for this success, a joint research project by the Fit for School program an SEAMEO INNOTECH was conducted, gathering qualitative data in the form of interviews in Kampot province and with officials from national level, also taking into account the quantitative data gathered through the monitoring done by district and provincial officials and collected through the Minimum Requirements monitoring. The findings highlight six success factors for a successful WASH in Schools scale-up led by the Provincial Office of Education. The results have recently been published in Scale Up Success Factors.
The six success factors will play a vital role in replicating the success from Kampot in other provinces in the 3rd program phase of Fit for School, starting December 2018. Together with the School Health Department of MoEYS and other stakeholders, Fit for School will support more students to have access to usable WASH facilities and to be able to practice daily hygiene activities.