SPLASH School Outcome Study – THE EFFECT OF WASH IN SCHOOLS ON EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES: ABSENTEEISM AND TEACHER-PUPIL CONTACT TIME
The study clearly establishes that improved WASH conditions and education in a school had a positive effect on pupil and teacher absenteeism and teacher-pupil contact time. Effects in the expected direction are clear during the measures taken in the 2015 school year but not in the last few months of the 2014 school year. The difference between intervention and control schools is evident when looking at the measure we termed de jure (past two weeks) absenteeism. In this case, the absenteeism differences detected may be at least threefold higher (or 300 percent) in control schools when the time dimension is seasons, but fivefold (or 500 percent) when the time dimension is school term. The differences when we look at de facto (day of data collection) absenteeism hover around 34 or 35 percent when we look at the data by seasons and may be as high as 100 percent when we look at the data by school terms. These differences occur in two of three seasons or terms examined. Further, pupil absenteeism findings remain even in the presence of three other potential confounders: the presence of a school feeding program, the presence of school improvement projects other than WASH, and the type of school. The WASH program seems to affect boys and girls equally. WASH in Schools programs positively impact school attendance for teachers and pupils but appear to have less of an impact on contact time.