Miss Clean and Mr Clean WASH in Schools

WASH in Schools

Khin Mar Win and A Mar Zaw
Teacher Daw Myint Myint Hlaing, Ma Han Su Lwin (center) and her friend posing for a picture at their school in Kayah State.

03 May 2019

March 2019, Myanmar – Seven-year-old Ma Han Su Lwin is very proud of her ‘Miss Clean’ award. 

“I’m feeling good about myself and happy to help other students learn how to improve their personal hygiene,” said Han Su Lwin.

Every month the students at Sin Taung Middle School in Demawso Township in Kayah State observe their daily behaviours and decide among themselves who gets the ‘Mr Clean’ or ‘Miss Clean’ champion awards. It’s a keen competition that builds awareness of water and sanitation issues and personal hygiene.

Since the recent installation of new sanitation facilities at the school by UNICEF and the beginning of the hygiene awards, teacher Daw Myint Myint Hlaing is very enthusiastic about the dramatic changes she has witnessed.

“The clean and comfortable facilities definitely encourage our children to follow good personal hygiene practice. They are learning more about the importance of cleanliness and I’m seeing them enjoying using the facilities,” said Daw Myint Myint Hlaing. 

“Before this, we didn’t have enough clean drinking water available and our hygiene standards were low. The toilet facilities used to be very basic and dirty. Solid and liquid waste was collected in a single bucket and there was only one handwashing facility, with no soap or running water. Understandably, adolescent girls would choose to miss classes during their menstruation,” the teacher explained.

©UNICEF Myanmar/2019/ Khin Mar Win
Little “clean” champions showing off their clean hands at their school in Kayah State.

UNICEF’s WASH in Schools programme in Myanmar sees the installation of raised water tanks with piping to support male and female latrines, hand-washing stations, drinking water machines, water filters and menstrual hygiene management kits. The programme also includes hygiene education, menstrual hygiene management awareness training for students and teachers, and training of school maintenance staff on the operation and maintenance of the WASH facilities. 

Over 9,488 children in twenty-seven schools in Kayah State benefit from the improved water, sanitation and hygiene facilities through this programme.

A recent ‘Mr Clean’ award winner, nine-year-old Maung Thurein Min revealed, “I’ve been learning about keeping my body clean. These are new and interesting things for me. When I’m clean, I feel much happier in my life,” reflected Maung Thurein Min.