“USAID has brought the school into a new era” said Nae’la Mdarsi, Principal of Tubas Girls’ School, the only girls’ school in the city.
Mdarsi, a graduate from the 1980s, joined the school as an English teacher and today is the principal.
“Many projects and renovation jobs have been done in the school since the 1980s, but this particular project marked a tremendous difference. The water and sanitation facilities suffered sever deterioration. This was an incredible problem for us; cleanliness of toilets is crucial especially in a girls’ school,” Principal Mdarsi explained.
The USAID-funded project provided the school with adequate sanitation units and safe drinking water which will ensure high health and hygiene standards for the students and teachers.
“Once we heard loud screams coming from the girls’ toilets, so I rushed there with other teachers to find one of our students terrified as she saw a mouse creep by, while she was using the bathroom. The continuation of such a situation could have endangered the health of 550 students,” she said gravely.
Aisha Abdullah, a twelfth grade student, expressed her relief with the renovation: “The old bathroom disgusted me. I preferred waiting until school ended to go home and use the bathroom there. Today, I use the school bathroom, reassured of its cleanliness.”
The project, which was implemented by ANERA, also included the installation of a sun shed over the main schoolyard to keep direct sunlight and rain away. “Many times during rainy seasons, we were forced to cancel the daily morning lineup which is very important for us and the students. Now we won’t have to skip morning lineups regardless of the weather,” the Principal explained cheerfully.
Physical education teacher Fathia Daraghmeh could not hide her happiness while talking about the project: “This is a blessing for the whole school. I am particularly blessed because this shed has directly affected my work at the school. During rainy days, I usually had to cancel my class or have the girls practice inside the classroom. This was not convenient for any of us, since there are many physical exercises that cannot be performed inside the classroom. I thank USAID and ANERA for solving this problem.”
The new sun shed allows the students to fully utilize the space in the schoolyard. They can now use the schoolyard as a theater and exhibition space, and even use it for graduation ceremonies, as well as many other extra curriculum activities.
USAID provided a total of $72,000 for the project which was implemented by ANERA to solve major water and sanitation problems at the Tubas Girls School. The project has helped create 380 days of employment opportunities for the local community in Tubas.
The project included
- Full renovation of the toilet units at the school
- Rainwater insulation of the restroom’s roof
- Installation of new sinks outside the restrooms
- Installation of additional roof water tanks to provide additional water storage capacity
- Installation of a shed over the main playground to protect the students from the sun and rain.
- Multiple classrooms were also painted