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Project based learning used to instil concepts of health and hygiene in students

Skills taught under the Intel® Teach Program have provided two teachers with the right skills to help students become proactive social innovators, promoting community collaboration.

Under the Intel® Teach Program Ms. Azra Darbar and Ms. Fauzia Latif, secondary school teachers at Fauji Foundation Model School, Chak Shahzad Campus, were trained in how to use project based learning to more effectively interact and educate their students on critical local health issues.

Environment and water pollution is one of the greatest problems facing Pakistan. The World Health Organisation reports that 25-30% of all hospital admissions are connected to water borne bacterial and parasitic conditions, with 60% of infant deaths caused by water infections.

Students were assigned a project to investigate and understand the causes of diseases and epidemics. They worked in groups, observed the community, researched on the internet and interviewed people to find out how poor personal hygiene and lack of awareness causes diseases and what steps can be taken to improve the conditions in their own surroundings. They then developed presentations, banners, flyers and distributed the material to community members, before holding a public ‘Health Day’ celebration at the school where students performed skits, dramas, and recited poems on cleanliness and its importance in daily life.

The project was vital in creating awareness and helping the community understand the importance of basic hygiene, inspiring a raft of further initiatives. In the few months following the program a cleanliness drive began to reap rewards: diseases due to water pollution reduced; community members started drinking boiled water; many open drains were covered by the community members voluntarily; piles of garbage were removed; and disinfectant was sprayed regularly in the locality.

Mrs. Gul Nafees Janjua, Principal of the school, reflected:

"Project Based Learning methodologies, taught in the Intel® Teach Program made a huge difference to how our teachers interact and educate our students. Learning is more engaging for the students and the last year has been a great success in our developmental efforts. We thank Intel for providing us with this opportunity and with the ongoing program we will excel in all standards of education."

After the project and these initiatives, the teachers observed a marked difference in their students in terms of responsibility towards the community and students became more conscious of basic hygiene principles.