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Sustainable Development Goals aim at a universal access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), and inclusive and effective learning environments for all. With this intention, a comparative study was made between two public and two private schools in two woredas in Kirkos sub-city, Addis Ababa. A checklist-based WASH evaluation was made during study visits in the selected schools. A total of randomly-selected 298 schoolchildren were interviewed using a structured questionnaire on their knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) in WASH facilities in their respective schools. Quantitative data were analyzed statistically. Results showed that drinking water points were inadequate and handwashing stations were without soap in public schools. Menstrual hygiene management facilities were poor because of shortage of running water within the toilets, particularly in public schools. School solid waste was collected by garbage collectors or burned in school compound. Over 80% of schoolchildren from both types of schools had a good knowledge about reasons for washing hands. Most schoolchildren in private schools (93%) and a lower proportion in public schools (55%-60%) practiced handwashing with soap, mainly because soap was made available by schools due to enforced COVID-19 precautions. More private schoolchildren (67%-77%) than those in public-schools had a more positive attitude towards use of running water for drinking and understood that quality of water affected health. Only students in one public school were not happy with toilet facilities in their school. In general, there were differences in WASH infrastructure and KAP between private and public primary schools.
Ethiopian Journal of Education and Sciences. All rights reserved.