Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

Hygiene facilities protect children’s right to education

Students of Situm Primary School in Morobe Province can now enjoy safe handwashing following the construction of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities in the school.

The new hand washing stations and water tanks were put in place by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) PNG through the Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership.

In addition to the handwashing facilities, COVID-19 awareness sessions were held for staff and students to be better informed about COVID-19 and measures to keep safe during the pandemic.

School Principal John Gemotang said it was vital that students and staff are continuously reminded of COVID-safe practices, especially with the increase in COVID-19 cases.

“Practicing safe hygiene is vital as it teaches students that maintaining simple yet effective hygiene and social-distancing practices are a way to protect each other and their right to a quality education while at school,” Mr Gemotang said.

PNG and Australia are partnering through the Church Partnership Program to support churches and local communities to work together to minimise COVID-19 transmission by ensuring schools can operate more safely and in accordance with the Niupela Pasin protocols.

There are now 80 institutions, including 50 schools, across the country which have received WASH facilities as the churches promote COVID-19 safety measures to protect communities from the potentially devastating impacts of the pandemic.