Teaching Plan Summary
In developing countries, Handwashing with Water and Soap (HWWS) is one of the most economical yet effective approaches to treating faecal-oral vectored diseases (Curtis, 2009). Consequently, a good HWWs campaign would benefit many in the society, especially school going children (Biran et al., 2009). The following paper will investigate teacher response to driving effective HWWS intervention in different schools across the globe (Xuan et al., 2013).
There are different HWWS campaigns going on in a wide variety of schools. These could range from in class lectures, advice from student advisors to talks during school meetings or common school meetings. Statistics show that HWWS promotional campaigns take place at least once a month for the entire school and at least once a week in each individual class.
According to the research, up to 35 HWWS promotional classes took place over the test period with up to 566 students in each of the four schools visited getting some leaflets to take home and share with their families.
During the intervention, we paid attention to a wide range of experiences and activities. At schools, observations were done on a total 15 HWWS activities and the gathered information placed on an observation sheet. The collected information cantered on:
HWWS methods used per each promotion session
The teacher and student reaction on the activity in general
After the convention, four focus group discussions with five teachers and eight students each were taken in for studying to help access the effectiveness of the convention and possible challenges that possibly made it less effective (Xuan et al., 2013).
The Epidemiological Rationale of the Topic
Several studies in the past show proof of multiple advantages on any school's hygiene efforts. These campaigns are not only effective but also accelerate the teaching by using the involved children as hygiene ambassadors in the community (UNICEF, 2010). Even though the HWWS promotion approach might vary from one institution to another, the results and search for solutions to uphold its effectiveness remain the same across the board (Xuan et al., 2013).
A recent study shows that in most developing communities, the effort to educate people on the benefits of HWWS heavily focuses on the entire community with very few campaigns going to schools (Vindigni, et al., 2011). A random clustered study on the feasibility of teaching HWWS to the community via schoolchildren proved viable when conducted on 87 Chinese primary schools (Bowen et al., 2011).
According to an elaborate formative research of 2008 on teachers, children and parents from six schools and 20 homes (Xuan & Hoat, 2013), hygiene patterns are more or less the same across the table. The most common findings included:
The use of pit latrines with limited after visit HWWS
Poor adherence to the wash hands before eating convention
Little or no access to clean drinking and cooking water
Limited know-how on the benefits of upholding high levels of personal hygiene
After conducting HWWS sessions in each of the schools, teachers identified with HWWS an ideal solution to some of the hygiene related complications in both the school and the society (Xuan et al., 2013).
An assessment of the teaching experience
According to the information gathered from all the children attending the HWWS workshop, it is clear that all of them enjoyed it regardless of their gender or age. All the children were willing to learn and gave ideal responses toward the whole HWWS concept. None of the students felt like the seminars were a bother or a waste of time.
This is evident in the quoted responses from different groups of the students picked to participate in the FGD aftermath. For instance, a group of 3rd grade students were of the opinion that
"The most impressive and exciting thing in the past month was the HW-with-soap exercise….There was nothing we did not understand….Nothing...
They all embraced HWWS as one of the most ideal ways to deal with the health of their children both in school and at home. During an interview, a grade 3 student's parents admitted that:
"HWWS is needed because we are afraid of dirt, disease and contamination. HWWS is good, we all know….HWWS is very essential because it helps us to prevent disease; HWWS also helps to protect us against environmental pollution (Xuan et al., 2013)
The teachers, on the other hand, were highly impressed by the effectiveness of this new teaching procedure. Some of them expressed their excitement at having the session go so well and were impressed by how fast their students understood the concepts being taught (Xuan et al., 2013).
Moreover, the teachers admitted that incorporating HWWS into their normal school activity would not be an overload to what they currently do. All teachers embraced the active teaching procedures with those having to use the traditional passive and theoretical approach admitting that there are better and more practical ways to sending such a practical message home (Xuan et al., 2013).
The response of the community to the teaching
When parents were interviewed on the possibility of incorporating HWWS into their homes, quite a great percentage showed willingness to adopt the idea. Moreover, since all the homes had soap and enough water, there were barely any obstacles to the actual implementation of HWWS. Moreover, since different parents accepted the fact that some soaps are better for HW and were willing to get these soaps, it is clear that the hand washing campaign could easily be a success in most homes.
After the study, we interviewed up to 15 students who admitted that they used soap and water at home hence this would not be a barrier to the adoption of HWWS at home. Moreover, it was observed that teaching hand washing was easy in all schools regardless of whether they had hand washing stations or not. The only problem was that teachers admit disinterest on what goes on at home. They only encourage pupils to wash hands while in school and do not care if they do it while at home.
This sits oddly with the fact that when at home, most of the children rarely receive any parental assistance. The research findings showed that most of the children are normally alone at home for long times since a number of the parents are away working for the better part of the day (Xuan, et al., 2013)
Despite the adoption enthusiasm, teachers are confident that letting students lie with the idea, without any reinforcements, will however lead to the gradual erosion of the HWWS. They quoted continued intervention as one of the most impressive ways to imparting the behavior into the children and making them wash hands even when under no direct supervision from adults.
Areas of strengths and areas of improvement
Studies have shown that to small children, habits like personal hygiene or the cleaning of hands are highly habitual. It means that if you train the child on how to adopt the trend while still young would increase the success rates of the HWWS campaign (Curtis, 2009). This is in line with the fact that children form a basic connection between families and hygiene in many societies (Biran et al., 2009).
UNICEF stresses on the roles teachers and their pupils play in implementing behavioral changes to their families and the society at large. By influencing children to embrace new hygiene habits, you stand a greater chance at passing the learnt behaviors to the entire society with ease (UNICEF, 2010). The idea here is that as the student learns new behaviors at school, he or she will try to implement them at home. The mere act of porting good behaviors learnt in school to a home setting could be a sufficient motivation to the parents into adopting better hygiene and dietary behaviors.
Since habits are learnt via sustained indulgence, repeated training sessions are undoubtedly needed to make the hand cleaning trend catch. According to previous studies, it is proposed that you hold at least three repeated sessions of training in the same school to help cement the idea of hand washing to the students. Even though more exposure can improve on the adoption, keeping at par with the bare minimum will ensure that you create an almost permanent behavioral change that will last for a long time among the participants (Elliot, 1991).
In establishing the relevance of a HWWS campaign to schools in a society as a whole, the researchers only dealt with a limited sample space and ran the test for a lower period of time due to time constraints. Even though the results are positive, the fact that a bigger part of the society was not questioned still leaves some room for changes in responses. This is a great opportunity for subsequent researchers willing to invest more time in interrogating the effectiveness of the proposition.
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