Compatibility Assessment of School Textbook with Dignified Menstruation

Compatibility Assessment of School Textbook with Dignified Menstruation

by Radha Paudel
Background:
The WASH consortium organized a regional workshop in Feb, 2017 at Tulshipur, Dang where the stakeholders across Nepal including activists, role models and government people gathered and declared a 15 points commitment for creating environment for dignified menstruation. Among them a commitment was develop a school curriculum from grade four to ten. Therefore, this workshop was organized in September 15-16, 2017 where total 40 participants working together represented as teachers, resource person, students, parents, government representatives from education, water supply and sanitation, health, women and child development, NGOs from Dang district.

Methodology:
To create enabling environment for share and discussion, the entire workshop commenced with informal way. There was four inclusive group and assigned for the series of workshop. The discussion, question answer, one-one discussion, presentation, plenary discussion was used during workshop. However, there was short inaugural and closing session, where district education office, Dang chaired the program and regional directorate was chief guest followed by the presentation on dignified menstruation and policy update from Radha, lead facilitator and project overview by Raj Kumar, Nepal Red Cross Society, Nepalgunj.
Results and Discussion:
The first group work identified the average ages of students who are studying at grade four to ten and their emotional, physical, social and other changes. This group work also identified the key gaps in current textbooks in aligning with dignified menstruation. Same groups worked in current textbooks and identified the gaps in terms of contents, methodology and practices. Each group presented in plenary and got input from friends and again work in group and finalized the entire chapters for students from grade four to ten.
In grade four there is no single info regarding menstruation where students get confused from observation at home and might 1-5 % girls have menstruation. Group suggested to add a paragraph to discuss the hygiene of private parts and taking care of toilets after use.
 In grade five simply speak a sentence but not address where about 25 % girls have already have menstruation. Group suggested to add bit more about menstrual hygiene including pads, cleansing, drying etc.
Grade six and seven have brief content on menstruation but bit jumping and mentioned technical word. Therefore, group suggested to normalize the contents as coherence order as grade 5, 6.
Grade eight has not have any things regarding menstruation, simply speaks about reproductive system. Therefore, group suggested to add menstrual cycle, bit more on menstrual health and hygiene and role in community.
 Grade nine has a long chapter but too much technical. By the time of grade eight and nine, almost all girls have period and almost all boys know about menstruation from family members and others thus, both grade eight and nine have to have bit advance information with simple illustration of role of boys and girls for initiating dialogue.
In grade ten, suggested to add a chapter including bit more info about phases of menstruation, sanitary products, role of eliminating myths and misperceptions around menstruation.
Acknowledgement:
I would like to extend my sincere thanks to provide this opportunity. I really enjoyed and enriched.  I impressed from the dedication of government people.
NB: I do not ask anything, simply I flew and facilitated the entire workshop as voluntary basis. Swiss red cross simply arranged travel, food and accommodation till date.

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