41% of 1,373 schools, the object of a study in Colombia, do not have drinking water, that is, 563 institutions do not have constant and free drinking water for drinking or preparing food. These are data that take more relevance in the midst of a pandemic that is prevented with hand washing.

The information comes from the second presentation of the Welbin Index: Colombia 2021 of the Escalando business initiative, focused on health and well-being in children and adolescents. Schools from 379 municipalities, out of 32 departments, participated in this report.

Schools in Manizales and 50 schools in Anserma, Chinchiná, Manzanares, Marquetalia and Salamina participated in the Index, as did both Secretariats of Education.

Daniel Tobón, co-founder and Executive Director of Escalando, explains what and what this index is for: “It is an instrument that on a scale from 0 to 100 that represents the level at which an educational establishment meets the highest standards of health and well-being from the World Health Organization, Unesco, the United States Center for Disease Control and the same scientific evidence. “

It is a verified support to know how a school is, it is an answer to know what the educational communities do and not to take care of health. “It became important because the pandemic showed us that school environments play an important role for schools to operate normally in terms of presence, academic performance, academic performance, permanence and quality of life”, Tobon says.

89% of educational establishments correspond to main venues, and the rest to satellites. 50% have all educational levels (preschool, basic and middle), 23% preschool and basic, 21% basic and medium, 4% only preschool and 2% only basic. 69% serve students with disabilities, 56% migrant students, and 32% indigenous students.

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Last year 915 schools participated, this year there were 1,373. They also grew in coverage, there were 28 in 2020 and this year, 32. They entered from San Andrés, Putumayo, Vichada and Huila.

Photo | Courtesy for LA PATRIA

Daniel Tobón, co-founder and CEO of Escalando.


Participation in the study was voluntary. Each time they registered they could obtain a diagnosis of their health and well-being conditions. “The main objective is when they fill out the Welbin Index automatically, they obtain their qualification and we deliver material to strengthen their practices. It was delivered automatically, free and confidential. The data was used for the national report in a secondary way,” says Tobón .

The data was grouped into five dimensions: policies, settings, health education, health and nutrition services, and partnerships. For this, we must focus again on water and sanitary batteries, on which Tobón reflects:

“We are concerned that there are still schools that do not have an aqueduct and are supplied with groundwater or rainwater. It is not a responsibility of the school. We hope it is a wake-up call. 10% do not have permanent soap for hand washing, but in rural areas it increases to 22%. The gaps continue to increase. ” The organization manages meetings with the Secretariats of Education to share the data of the Index, also with the schools to support the schools in a closer way.

Participating schools have an overall Welbin Index score of 55%, which speaks of meeting the highest standards in school health and well-being.

Read the full report to read recommendations.

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* 55% have a policy, but do not implement it.

* 73% have a policy to promote family and student participation.

* 33% do not have a policy, they are building it.

* 62% have some annual mechanism to identify functional difficulties.


* 55% have an average of 0.9 functional toilets for every 25 students.

* 9% do not have enough water for hand washing.

* 22% in rural schools.

* 12% have no aqueduct service.

* 10% do not have permanent soap for hand washing.

Psychosocial environment and security

* 35% are in areas where there is sale of psychoactive substances.

* 22% are in areas where there are bars or billiards.

* 17% are in areas where there is organized crime.

* 11% are in areas where there is armed conflict.

Education for health

* 56% train their teachers in mental and emotional health.

* 47% respond to emergencies (First aid, disasters, violence).

* 38% training in bullying / harassment / cyberbullying prevention.

30% are trained in human sexuality and sexual and reproductive rights.

Connectivity and inclusion

* 79% have school desks and tables adjusted to age and dominant hand.

* 48% have stairs with railings on both sides

* 44% have permanent internet access.

* 42 has made adjustments to ramps, sign interpretation, etc.


* 54% have associations / groups of families and caregivers.

* 41% have alliances with health service providers (IPS).

* 39% have alliances with actors to take care of security.

* 18% have alliances with local food producers.


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