So as to provide better facilities for the school students, separate child friendly hand washing station and drinking water station were constructed at Shree Shikshya Vikash Secondary School, Letang, Morang (in east Nepal). These facilities benefitted 655 students (305 boys and 350 girls).
Water tank containing treated drinking water was connected to the drinking water station through a separate plumbing-piping system. The height of tap at the drinking water station was kept at different levels for easy reach of students of lower class.
School teacher Mr. Devi Prasad thanked ECCA and the donor agency for the support, and shared that the students were very excited to use such child friendly facilities.
The present COVID-19 pandemic has affected the regular studies in the schools. Though online classes are held in the city, such facility is not available in rural areas (due to unavailability of internet access and poor economic condition of the family). In these rural areas, physical presence class is the only option.
ECCA supported Deurali Secondary School, Thani Basic School, Sitadevi Secondary School and Ram Secondary School located in the rural villages of Dhankuta district (in eastern Nepal) with COVID-19 prevention materials. All together 500 liters of chlorine solution (a disinfectant, branded as WATASOL), 600 face masks (washable), 4 boxes gloves, 300 hand washing soaps and 4 spray bottles were equally distributed to these four schools. This has helped to make the schools safe from COVID-19, making it possible for students to come and study.
Mr. Purna, teacher of Deurali Secondary School shared, “The support received from ECCA will contribute to avoid students' and school staffs’ exposure to COVID-19 infection. Due to shortage of fund and such materials, we were facing difficulty. We can now continue disinfection as well as practice personal hygiene and operate regular class. Thank you so much, ECCA, for considering our request.”
Most of the schools in Nepal are running the classes with the combination of online as well as in-person classes. However, many of them are struggling to meet the prescribed health protocols. Besides, the environment is even more challenging for the schools in the areas closer to India. Considering this fact, the stakeholders from the four schools located in Jhapa district (in eastern Nepal) approached ECCA for the support.
ECCA supported all these four schools with COVID-19 relief materials, which included chlorine solution (a disinfectant, branded as WATASOL), backpack sprayer, and 2 no. informative flex (one related with COVID-19 prevention and another related with uses of chlorine solution). The ECCA staff met the school stakeholders and provided orientation on the uses of the supported materials.
These schools are now making the school premises/environment safe for their students by spraying the chlorine solution with the backpack sprayer to disinfect the classrooms and the school surrounding regularly.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, Government of Nepal announced various restrictions (including nation-wide lockdown) from beginning of March 2020, most of which were lifted from mid June 2020 considering the need to revitalize the economy. However, the COVID-19 infections are increasing. The schools are one of the most affected sectors.
Using the Swiss WATA technology, ECCA is locally producing active chlorine solution of 6 gm/liter concentration (sodium hypochlorite, branded as WATASOL), which is a highly efficient disinfectant against COVID-19.
WATASOL was provided to the schools in jerry can, for sanitizing the school premises / classrooms. Spray bottle was also provided, in which diluted WATASOL is filled and sprayed (to clean desk, bench, chair, table, staircase hand railing, etc.) making it easy to wipe. This has helped the schools to open, making it possible for students to come and study.
Poor school environment makes students negative about school, says a study. The majority of public schools in Nepal lack even the basic facilities, including safe drinking water, toilet, proper furniture etc. and in the scenario like this, school environment beautification is beyond the imagination of school stakeholders. The situation was alike for Sitapaila Secondary School of Japhe, Dolakha, Nepal. After the visioning workshop arranged by ECCA, the dedicated school staffs and the students moved forward to improve the school premises.
ECCA supported the school to renovate the school’s compound considering school garden as a safe learning space for students and powerful environmental education tool for both the teachers and students. The teachers are hopeful that; after the reopening of the school after easing the present Covid-19 pandemic, through gardening, students shall involve on hands-on-learning being responsible caretakers by doing typical gardening tasks, such as planning, planting, caring and harvesting.
Mr. Arjun Gautam, Principal of the school thanked all for the support.
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