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JIS News

Five schools in rural Jamaica have benefited from a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) ‘Training of Trainers’ Workshop, organised by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).

Participants included 20 principals, guidance counsellors, teachers and ancillary staff from the Boston Primary School in Portland; Grange Hill Primary School, Westmoreland; Jacks River Primary School, St. Mary; Mount Moriah Primary School, St. Ann, and Marlie Mount Primary and Infant School, St. Catherine.

The four-day training session, held at the Jewel Paradise Cove Resort and Spa in St. Ann from August 18 to 21, forms part of the WASH initiative and was geared towards building the capacity of schools in implementing quality water, sanitation and hygiene measures.

The initiative, being implemented under the ninth phase of JSIF’s Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) project, is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), through a grant agreement with the Government.

“Under the BNTF, we provide targeted schools with holistic interventions. So, in addition to getting infrastructural upgrades, they are also benefiting from a WASH training,” BNTF Project Manager at JSIF, Daintyann Barrett Smith, told JIS News.

Each school will also be provided with a specialised WASH kit, including thermometers, sanitisers and cleaning agents, among other necessities.

The training sessions were facilitated by representatives from the Ministry of Health and Wellness; the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; and JSIF.

Some of the topics covered included cleaning and sanitization, food safety, personal hygiene, maintenance of sanitary facilities, water quality management, and solid waste management.

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we felt it was prudent to host this training session for our stakeholders, so that they would be better able to get themselves ready for the reopening of schools and to ensure that all the safety and preventative measures are in place to protect the students,” Mrs. Barrett Smith said.

At the end of the training, participants are expected to implement a comprehensive WASH Plan in their respective schools.

Meanwhile, Guidance Counsellor at the Marlie Mount Primary and Infant School, Santeena Hayles, told JIS News that the workshop was “very impactful” and knowledge gained will be used to implement the school’s WASH plan.

“Currently, some of the ideas I have been jotting down are: to implement sanitisation monitors or environmental wardens, and to have competitions like ‘Best School Block Cleaning Competition’ or ‘Best Block WASH Practices’ and ‘Best Classroom Sanitisation Practice’,” Ms. Hayles pointed out.

The BNTF project is the flagship poverty reduction programme of the CDB, and is aimed at contributing to the improvement in the living conditions of poor and vulnerable communities in participating countries.

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