Infrastructure (Classroom blocks, water and sanitation)

Evidence shows that inadequate school infrastructure can be a direct barrier to attendance for some marginalised groups of children including girls and children with disabilities. A survey conducted by ESSPIN in Nigeria in 2010 identified that 70% of schools were in poor condition. The main reason for this was low level of investment in infrastructure, very poor quality of existing buildings and in situations where new facilities have been provided, poor maintenance or vandalism leaving it unusable.

Through the infrastructure programme in Jigawa, Kaduna and Kano, ESSPIN has provided just under a quarter of a million children with improved water and sanitation facilities. ESSPIN took a systemic approach to addressing the infrastructure challenges and brought stakeholders together in all stages of the construction process. This included

  • Improved site selection through better availability of data (where before it was an ad hoc basis).
  • Improved tendering and procurement practices with greater transparency.
  • Establishing, with the school and its community, systems and procedures for the use and care of facilities which will ensure many years of use
  • Identifying and training good local community technicians to develop their business through providing services to schools and communities
  • Working with SUBEBs to improve their systems with regards to planning, delivery and timely utilisation of budgets.

Over time, this was replicated and the majority of States have incorporated the ESSPIN infrastructure design modifications into their State-wide programmes. Capacity has been built at all levels; SUBEB, communities, contractors, and consultants, all of which led to better buildings, better delivery systems and processes and increased enrolment and retention in school.

Read more on ESSPINs infrastructure programme in Practice Paper: Infrastructure: improving practice