Case Study - BRTUK - Protection of Puberty School Girls

Phulsaind BL high School & College is located at Phulsaind in Golapganj, Sylhet. The school was establised in 1962 with the collaboration of local elite person to spread the light of education. From then it is one of the well-known and reputed schools in Golapganj. The school is brick built separated with three buildings. The school has 831 pupils among them 316 students are girls. It is a non-governmental secondary school, the children who attend the school are up to 14 years old.  There are total 20 teachers (4 female) teaching at this school. 

The school has only three separate toilets for girls. There was no enough lighting in the toilets. Girls had to manage water from tube wells that was located far away from the common room. Besides the school struggles to supply soap and other hygiene commodities at regular basis. 

The school was included in a program run by Global Unnayan Seba Sangtha, sponsored by Bangladesh Regeneration Trust UK (BRTUK) to support puberty education in school. Therefore, several awareness sessions were held by a professional trainer addressing basic information about puberty and menstruation. Later a total of dignity kits among 316 adolescent girls to ensure better hygiene management of menstruation. 

In addition, to minimize the challenges that girls face in WASH facilities are also addressed, small scale mitigation works were also done which includes connecting the water supply with the water tank, ensuring sufficient lighting in the toilets and painting the washrooms. Besides, a dignity corner was established at the girls’ facility room equipped with hygiene items like reusable sanitary pads, tooth brushes, toothpastes, washing powder and soaps. Proper IEC materials were also put in place to aware the girls’ about menstruation and health hygiene. 

This initiative helped the school to create a congenial environment for adolescent girls which eventually reduced school absenteeism. All the female students were delighted to have a dignity corner at their school which would be helpful for them to face any unwanted situation at school during period. One student said,

“I had a bad experience when I was in the exam hall. Although I had a good preparation but suddenly I got my period. Then the whole time one thing run out of my mind that how the boys would make laugh at me after seeing red marks on my white scarf. I couldn’t concentrate on my papers and eventually had a bad result. Having a dignity corner in my school would help to avoid this kind of embracing situation in future. I feel proud that my school has a special corner for girls.” 

The teachers of Phulsaind School also appreciated the activities of this project. Considering the importance of puberty education, one of the teachers said,

“It is high time to break social taboos and misinformation about menstruation that can hurt a girls’ well-being and as a teacher we have a wonderful opportunity to prepare the girls in class for their monthly period. I also talk to the managing committee to keep the proper functioning of the established dignity corner in future”.