Supporting the Up-Scaling of EHCP
The Essential Health Care Program (EHCP) is DepEd’s flagship school health program. In ARMM, EHCP includes three low-cost and effective hygiene interventions: daily group handwashing with soap, daily group toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste, and bi-annual deworming. Since launching the program in 2011, EHCP has expanded to reach over 400 schools in every province of ARMM. GIZ supports DepEd in upscaling the program – e.g. through active knowledge sharing between divisions and the provision of materials to guide the implementation.
In addition, GIZ also provides standardized low-cost group washing facilities to EHCP-implementing schools in ARMM. In many schools, access to water remains a challenge. By providing standardized washing facilities which limit water usage and significantly reduce water waste, all schools are able to practice daily hygiene habits.
GIZ also supports the Bangladeshi NGO, BRAC, to implement EHCP in 550 Learning Centers, which provide access to education in parts of the region where formal schooling is otherwise inaccessible.
Supporting the Rehabilitation and Maintenance of School Toilets
GIZ is also supporting DepEd by providing construction and rehabilitation of toilets in 255 schools. These initiative will serve as a model for making simple repairs and maintaining existing toilets as an alternative to construction of new toilets. In addition, GIZ is providing technical assistance to develop a culture of cleaning of school toilets. Orientations, templates and simple tools are shared with school communities to ensure that regular cleaning is integrated into the daily schedule and toilets will remain functional over time.
Strengthening Governance for WASH in Schools
With technical assistance from GIZ, DepEd ARMM is developing a step-wise approach for schools to be accredited for their progress to improve WASH in Schools. This system provides an entryway for schools to demonstrate their commitment to improving WASH in their school by using only the resources available to them and integrating WASH in their school based management. They can then gradually progress towards reaching national standards for WASH in Schools and be recognized for their efforts.
In addition, DepEd ARMM is also strengthening transparency at school level with support from GIZ. A system is under development for the establishment of Transparency Boards in every school. These boards will display resources coming into the school and how they are used. School heads are encouraged to include communities in the decision-making regarding the use of funds and make those decisions public. Through this process participation and trust in public institutions are strengthened.
GIZ also provides technical support for the development and implementation of school health policies. DepEd ARMM released a school health and nutrition policy in November 2014 regarding the role of health personnel and school heads in ensuring schools are healthy places and shifting the focus of school health from treatment to prevention. GIZ supports DepEd ARMM to operationalize these new roles by facilitating stakeholder discussions and providing technical advice.
Conducting Research on Simplifying School Feeding Systems
Through support from BMZ, GIZ also supports DepEd ARMM to pilot new approaches to school feeding to simplify existing programs. Research focuses on simplifying recipes, assessing the impact of providing healthy snacks on school attendance, and simplifying nutritional assessment.
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH: