The challenge

Fit for Madrasah Programme 
Improving health for better education and child development

Madrasah are key public institutions where students, staff  and community members come together, interact closely and share common spaces. Thus, the risk of transmitting infectious diseases in Madrasah settings is high. Madrasahs are also the institutions where lifelong hygiene behaviors are  acquired and serve as models for parents and communities. Therefore, routine hygiene measures serve two purposes: as Madrasah-based activities to improve personal hygiene of children, particularly washing hands with water and soap and toothbrushing, and emphasizing the importance of better environmental hygiene through proper cleaning. Establishing this culture of cleanliness and hygiene in Madrasah is at the core of the program so that Madrasah serve with purpose as safe public institutions and to prevent and control the risk of infection within the community.

Our approach

The Fit for Madrasah Approach strengthens madrasah-based management to support the implementation of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs, including daily handwashing and tooth-brushing, regular deworming, waste management and regular cleaning to address high impact diseases. Combined with improved access to clean water, washing facilities and appropriate sanitation, key determinants of health are addressed in a single intervention package. Promoting healthy habits in conducive learning environments allows children to make the most of their education through better health and wellbeing. This is also reflected in the SDG 4 on Quality Education under target 4.a.1, requiring access to basic drinking water, usable single-sex basic sanitation facilities, and basic handwashing facilities with available water and soap in Madrasahs. 

The GIZ Fit For Madrasah Programme

On behalf of German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and in partnership with the Southeast Asian Ministries of Education Organization and its Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH), the program supports Ministries of Education in the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia and Lao PDR to rollout policies, implementing guidelines, and monitoring systems for WASH in Madrasahs. 

Fit for School cooperates closely with UNICEF through the joint publication of the “Three Star Approach for WASH in Schools” and the joint co-hosting of the annual WASH in Schools International Learning Exchanges since 2012. Fit for School further collaborates with Unilever, focusing on scaling up clean and usable toilets in public schools. With support from the Hygiene and Behavior Change 
Coalition (HBCC) of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office and Unilever, the collaboration was extended to integrate pandemic preparedness and response measures in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Cambodia.