On October 13, 2017, Fit for School was launched in Guinea. The Minister of Pre-University Education and Literacy announced the launch at Guinea’s national Global Handwashing Day celebrations. Focused on the theme “Our Hands, Our Future”, Minister Ibrahima Kalil Konaté declared the commitment of the ministry to develop hygiene habits in learners throughout the country, noting that schools provide the ideal platform for habit formation.
The Minister emphasized the importance of practicing hygiene activities in enabling children to maximize their education. Minister Konaté also stressed the key responsibility that School Principals hold in ensuring that their schools are healthy learning environments.
Mr. Matthias Veltin, German Ambassador to Guinea, also participated in the ceremony. He explained that this is the first time that the Fit for School approach has been implemented in Francophone Africa, and Guinea has been chosen as the model country for the region.
Based on the approach developed in Southeast Asia, the Fit for School program in Guinea will focus on daily group handwashing with soap, bi-annual deworming and daily cleaning of school toilets. The program emphasizes gradual step-wise improvements to water, sanitation and hygiene which the ministry can integrate into their existing system given their resources and capacity. Initially, a model will be developed in 50 schools across 5 regions of the country before being scaled up.
The Basic Education program of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Guinea provides technical assistance to the Ministry of Pre-University Education and Literacy for the implementation of Fit for School, with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.