ISLAMABAD: The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) of Pakistan has issued directives to educational institution heads to encourage the participation of students in maintaining a clean and healthy environment alongside routine academic activities.
According to FDE guidelines on hygiene, educational institutions are urged to engage students in cleanliness efforts, ensuring their safety from hazardous chemicals. The guidelines include instructions for proper toilet use, cleaning sinks, countertops, and toilet floors after use.
Riffat Jabeen, Director of Academics at FDE, acknowledged the challenge for custodial staff in managing cleaning tasks alone due to the size of educational institutions. Teachers are actively involved in emphasizing the importance of cleanliness and hygiene during lectures, and Head Teachers ensure the availability of cleaning supplies.
In an effort to promote hygiene, the federal government has initiated the “Oral Hygiene Program” in 423 public sector schools and colleges under FDE jurisdiction. The program involves distributing ‘Hygiene Kits’ among students, with 100,000 kits already distributed as part of the program launched in April 2023. The kits include guidance from doctors on health and hygiene issues.
Directorate of Education Calls for Clean and Healthy Environments
However, concerns have been raised about the lack of facilities, especially in female schools, and substandard food supplied by canteens and vendors, affecting students’ health. FDE Director Monitoring, Malik Sohail, assured to address these concerns, promising improvements and facility upgrades.
Caretaker Education Minister Madad Ali Sindhi directed FDE to submit a detailed proposal for facility maintenance, ensuring necessary funding for upgrades. He also emphasized the regular audit of food quality and the cancellation of contracts for those selling unhygienic food in educational institutions.