Encouraging education for girls
Reading, writing and arithmetic may be what traditionalists think of when it comes to the underpinnings of a good education…but perhaps we need to go back a little. To the toilet.
There is a bathroom revolution underway at our schools now. Our ‘chief’ of building, committee member Paddy O’Leary has redesigned our traditional school toilet. Apart from being built higher above the level of floodwaters, and more solidly, the bathrooms now have septic tanks built to the side of the building itself, meaning they are easier to service and less likely to begin to crack and subside.
A good bathroom is particularly important in ensuring school attendance from girls, and at the opening of the Char Kachua school, when local MPs, camera crews and hundreds of locals gathered around for the official launch, much of the excitement centred not around the new school benches but the bathrooms with the bright pink bucket.
The new bathroom was jokingly christened “the Beaumont” after committee member Cath Beaumont who bravely tested many of our existing bathrooms during her trip to Bhola in January. “Each time I went to a school for training I made sure I went to the loo. At the last school I went to, the door didn’t stay shut so I gestured to a little girl to hold it for me. She and many friends gathered around giggling. As I squatted down I realised that the metal was so rusted and corroded that there was a big gap between the floor and the bottom of the wall,” Cath declared.
Total cost for the bathrooms is $500 all told…including the pink buckets!