The Role of School Leadership in Management of Hand Washing with Soap in Primary Schools-Kawempe Division
Author: JUDITH OLIVIA NALUYIMA
Supervisor: Everd Maniple Bikaitwoha
The purpose of the study was to explore the role of school leadership in management of hand washing with soap in primary schools of Kawempe Division as indicated by the participantsí views through in-depth interviews. The study showed organization and implementation of hand washing with soap in primary schools, leadersí knowledge about hand washing with soap, the role of school leadership in hand washing with soap in Kawempe Division primary schools, enablers and barriers to implementation of HWWS in Kawempe Division primary schools. Research questions of the Study were: How is hand washing with soap organized and implemented in schools? What is the role of school leadership in management of hand washing with soap in Kawempe Division primary schools? What are the enablers and barriers to implementation of hand washing with soap in Kawempe division primary schools? In this study, school leadership was defined as MoEsTs, teachers, school matrons or senior women teachers, health or sanitation patrons, school prefects, school principals and school management committee members.
Qualitative descriptive cross-sectional survey was employed. The study employed social constructivism paradigm combined with interpretivism. Study participants were selected purposively because those participants were considered to be more informed about hand washing with soap in schools. Key informant interviews, focus group discussions and structured observation checklists were used. Data was collected using a camera, paper and pens from in-depth interviews.
Participantsí views on organisation and implementation of HWWS revealed that teachers offer hygiene education to school children, health\sanitation clubs, health patrons, school prefects and cleaners enhance HWWS through constant reminders. Leadersí knowledge about HWWS, most participants revealed critical times that require hand washing with soap, economic benefits associated with HWWS which included; reduced absenteeism, improved attendance, and academic performance, increased salary to teachers. Role of school leadership in HWWS revealed; participation in decision making process, empowering studentsí leaders in HWWS, designing minimum standards for WASH, involving parents in school WASH, innovativeness in changing the behaviour of HWWS among school children, sustaining HWWS, provision of adequate water, soap and HWF, monitoring and supervision, looking for professionals, repairing and maintaining hand washing facilities, rewarding school children for HWWS. Enablers and barriers to implementation of hand washing with soap revealed; availability or absence of soap, water and enough hand washing facilities, use of visual aids, health belief model, time, politics in school programmes, theft of soap, and limited funding for school WASH.
Enablers and barriers to implementation of HWWS in private or government schools have a link on policies and regulations which need a concerted effort. This is because if the barriers and enablers of hand washing with soap are not adequately addressed it is less likely that the roles of school leadership in management of hand washing with soap will be effectively attained. Hence the need to harmonize the policies and regulations from top to bottom, and enhancing participatory approaches to have increased ownership of the project by the targeted beneficiaries and sustainable behaviour of hand washing with soap in schools which can lead to improved health and eventual academic improvement.
studies may be conducted on child friendly and gender appropriate communication strategies targeting hand washing with soap, use entertainment to interest young children who have low attention capacity, , strengthening activities of health clubs, setting up minimum standards for school WASH, empowering of school children and teachers in decision making process, provide specific responsibilities and name tags to school children, win political support in school programmes, developing a joint monitoring tool for school WASH.