Guinea was selected as the first country in Francophone Africa to adapt the Fit for School approach. Having emerged from the devastation of the ebola crisis, there is strong resolve to create healthy, clean environments and to promote proper hygiene behavior in the country.
On behalf of BMZ, GIZ’s Promotion of Basic Education Programmeprovides technical assistance to the Ministre de l’Education Nationale et de l’Alphabétisation(Guinean Ministry of National Education and Literacy or MEN-A) to improve basic education. As part of this effort, the programmesupports the ministry to adopt innovative approaches, including Fit for School.
Fit for School in Guinea focuses on three key interventions: daily group handwashing with soap, regular cleaning of school toilets and annual deworming. In 2018, MEN-A is piloting the approach in 50 schools across five regions in the country.
Key Aspects of Implementation
Adaptation of FIT concept to Guinea
In 2017, officials of MEN-A visited the Philippines to learn about Fit for School implementation in the country and exchange experiences on WinS with the Philippine Department of Education.
After considering the WASH challenges in Guinean schools and the feasibility of intervention options, MEN-A, together with GIZ, decided to focus their Fit for School efforts on daily group handwashing with soap, regular cleaning of school toilets and annual deworming.
Considering locally available materials and suppliers, the design of the WASHaLOT is being adapted for the Guinean context and the Guinean version will be mobile and moved daily into and out of the classroom.
Capacity development tools developed by the Regional Fit for School Programme are also being adapted to the Guinean context and translated into French to disseminate the concept and guide implementation at school level.
Piloting of FIT Interventions
The Guinean FIT approach is being piloted in 50 schools spread across 5 regions of the country, namely Kindia, Labé, Mamou, Faranah and N’Zérékoré. Representatives at all levels of the ministry (national, regional, district, sub-district, and school) have been oriented on the FIT approach.
Supporting National WinS TWG
With technical assistance from GIZ and learnings from the Philippines, MEN-A is in the process of establishing a national-level Technical Working Group (TWG) for WinS. With support from development partners, the TWG will be responsible for the drafting and endorsement of a WinS policy for Guinea.
Integrating WinS into Pre-Service Teacher Training
GIZ also provides technical assistance to the Ecole Normale des Instituteurs (Professional School of Teachers or ENI) in Guinea. To integrate WinS into pre-service training of teachers, Fit for School will be integrated into the curriculum of five ENI institutions.
The learnings from the piloting in 50 schools will provide a model for MEN-A to move forward with further scale up of the FIT approach. In addition, the adaptation of the approach for Guinea provides a model for the application of the approach to other countries in West Africa. The learnings from the experience in Guinea will provide valuable additional insight into the appropriateness of the approach in very low-income settings.
GIZ works closely with other development partners in Guinea to improve WinS. Based on the joint Three Star Approach for WASH in Schools, GIZ works closely with UNICEF in Guinea, particularly on the development of the national WinS Technical Working Group.