This article has been published in Enabling Education 13
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Water, sanitation and inclusive education

This is the theme for the 2010 newsletter. As the article on p.22 suggests, the issue of access to suitable toilet facilities and water supplies can have a big impact on whether or not children attend school, or perform well when they are there.

Inaccessible and unsafe toilet facilities, lacking privacy and good hygiene, and inadequate or dirty water supplies affect all learners, but may pose particular barriers to disabled children and to girls. Schools which have no toilet facilities may experience higher drop-out levels, especially as children get older. Schools that cannot provide their pupils with safe drinking water find that learners struggle to concentrate in class when they are thirsty, or miss classes in order to fetch water from elsewhere.

EENET’s staff have been focusing on the issue of how school water and sanitation arrangements impact on the inclusion of children in education for some time. Now we want to hear what you think!

We are looking for newsletter articles that focus on:

  • research into how water and sanitation facilities can make learners feel either welcome or unwelcome in school
  • pupils’ opinions about water and sanitation facilities and the links with their participation and achievement in school
  • safe and appropriate facilities for girls, and the impact of such facilities on their participation and achievement in education
  • accessible facilities for disabled learners in mainstream schools, in particular studying low-cost solutions developed by pupils, parents, teachers and community members
  • food hygiene issues in schools (e.g. illness resulting from unsafe food preparation and storage can mean some pupils miss lessons or fail to concentrate)
  • the impact on education of water and sanitation facilities within the community (e.g. many children have to walk long distances to fetch water for their family, leaving them too tired to participate in lessons)
  • making hygiene education in schools more effective and ensuring it is accessible to all groups of learners
  • the impact of improved school water and sanitation on children’s education and wellbeing – positive and negative, intended and unintended impacts.


We really want to receive more newsletter contributions from children and young people. We are therefore holding a competition for the best youth contribution for the 2010 newsletter.

We would like to receive drawings, photographs, audio/visual materials, written articles, posters, etc, that answer the question:

“How do water, food and toilet facilities – at home or in school – affect your education, in a good way or in a bad way?”

The competition is open to anyone aged 21 years or less. We will divide the entries into ‘under 10 years’ and ’11-21 years’. We will also divide entries into ‘written’ and ‘non-written’. Entries do not have to be in English. If you submit an entry in another language, please make sure you tell us which language you have used, so that we can try to find a translator.

Deadline: 31st March 2010

You may send entries by email or by post (see the back page of this newsletter for EENET’s contact details). Please remember to provide the following details with each entry:

  • name
  • postal address
  • email/telephone number (where appropriate)
  • age
  • name of school (where appropriate)

The winner in each category will receive a prize from EENET. The winning entries will also be featured in the 2010 newsletter. All other entries may be featured on the EENET website.

To submit an article, or to discuss ideas for an article, email EENET on: