An Evaluation of the Health Status of the School Environment in Public Primary Schools in bonny Local Government Area, Rivers State
Background: The provision of a Healthful School Environment is a prerequisite for the protection and promotion of the health of learners and attainment of Millennium Development Goal 2. This study sought to evaluate the availability of components of a healthful school environment in public primary schools in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State using an evaluation scale.
Method: This was a cross sectional school based study done in March 2006. Using an evaluation scale, 20 public primary schools were assessed for the availability of the various components of a Healthful School Environment such as water supply, toilet facilities, school structure, sitting comfort of pupils among others. Components had weighted scores. The minimum acceptable and maximum attainable scores were set at 52 and 64 points respectively. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 11.0
Results: Pupil population in the schools ranged from 100 to 1460 with a mean of 352±336SD. Teachers population in the schools ranged from 2 to 13 with a mean of 5±2.77SD. Seventy percent of the schools had teacher- pupil ratio below 1: 40. Seven (35%) schools had water supply within their premises, 5(25%) schools had functional toilet facilities and all the schools practiced open dumping and burning as their only method of refuse disposal. By inspection, 10 (50%) schools had strong walls and were well roofed, 1(5%) school had no school structure, but had a shade made up of sticks with zinc roofing sheets. The remaining schools were at various stages of disrepair. Seventeen (85%) schools had adequate ventilation and good lighting. Seats were available for all pupils in 11(55%) out of 20 schools. None of the schools had a food service area, safety patrol team or fire extinguisher. The main hazards reported were presence of Snakes in 13 (65%) schools and flood in 12 (60%) schools. The total scores of the individual schools ranged from 8 to 37 points. No school had up to the minimum acceptable score of 52 points.
Conclusion: The environments of public primary schools in Bonny Local Government lacked the basic amenities of water and sanitation and are generally unsafe.
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