Studying during menstruation is difficult
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If we want to reach real peace in this world, we should start educating children.” School is the second home of children where students spend maximum time in learning.There should be good teaching and learning environment for the overall development.
Beside good education, it is important for school to maintain quality sanitation including menstrual hygiene. Lack of sanitation and hygiene facilities in school has a stronger negative impact on girls than boys. In Nepal, it has been documented that girls have lower literacy rate than boys because of not attending schools. The data shows increase in adolescence girls dropout due to lack of clean and safe toilets to change their sanitary napkins or towels while they are menstruating. Due to fear of humiliation and discomfort, girls prefer staying at home than going to school.
Nabina Miya is a student of grade 11 at Viswa Niketan Higher Secondary School (VNHSS) pursuing her higher studies in Science. Despite of high equipped laboratory and skilled teachers in school, she has troubled time to concentrate in her study. What might be the reason? Is it gossip or unnecessary talks that divert her away? Well, the answer is no. Nabina revels that it is the poor sanitation system of school that time and again distract her from her study.
“I miss classes during my menstrual cycle. As there is no facility of sanitary pads, water and sanitary pad disposal bins in school, I have no option than missing classes,” says Nabina. Citing that missing classes every month is like a custom to girls, she adds, “The management of school is not open towards such issues. If only the college manages sanitary pads and increase sanitation system to school toilets, we need not to take leave for a single day unnecessarily like boys.”
Khusbu Gupta, another student of grade 11 at the school, shares, “Our school toilets are too dirty to use as there lacks water to flush. Even though we know that we have keep toilets clean after every use, we can’t help it. And while bleeding, it becomes a huge problem us.” Stating that used sanitary pads are also thrown haphazardly in toilets, she says, “The school administration should manage bins to dispose sanitary pads and students have to aware about using toilets properly and keep it neat and clean for better health.” She also adds that joint effort of school and students can only solve this sanitation issues. “Everyone should be aware about sanitation and hygiene including students, teachers and non-teaching staffs to improve sanitation facilities,” she explains.
Communication Associate, GUTHI