Assessment of primary schools' environment in Erbil city

  • Salih A. Abdulla Department of Pediatrics/Community health Nursing, College of Nursing, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq
  • Badia Mahammad Najib Department of Pediatrics/Community health Nursing, College of Nursing, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq
  • Namir Ghanim Al-Tawil Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq
Keywords: Assessment, School, Environment, Erbil


Background and objective: Healthy school environment is one of the main determinants of students’ health in order to maximize the benefit from the educational programs. This study was aimed to assess the primary school environment in Erbil city.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 50 primary schools in Erbil city out of 242 schools through the academic year 2010-2011. Data were collected using a questionnaire constructed by the researchers which included general information, area around the school, school environment, class-room and school canteen.

Results: Most of the primary schools were located near the main street, nearly all (98%) the streets leading to the schools were paved. In contrast, thirty one (62%) schools had been exposed to a pollution source, mainly noise (54.84%) and garbage (45.16%) pollution. The majority of the schools had standard school fencing, school yard, and garbage container, and only 8 (16%) of them had available/standard school ground. The study showed that nearly half of the schools had appropriate classrooms, lighting, and majority of them had adequate desks, appropriate blackboards and clean classrooms, while ventilation and age appropriate desks were partially available. The amount of chlorine in water was not tested. There is lack of materials in the first aid kits. Canteens were available, but not standard and the working staff did not have the health certificate.  

Conclusion: School environment in Erbil city is not optimum.


WHO, The Physical School Environment: An Essential Component of a Health-Promoting School. Geneva, 2004

Muthu, VK editors. The Short Book of Public Health. India: Jaypee Brothers, 2005.

WHO, Health promoting schools project: student’s health status and environmental assessment at primary schools [Internet] 2009 [cited 2010 June 28] Available from:

National Association of School, Indoor air quality [Internet]. 2000 [cited 2010 June 13] Available from: indoorairquality.htm

Evans GW, Maxwell L., Chronic noise exposure and reading deficits: The mediating effects of language acquisition. Environment and Behavior 1997; 29(5): 638-56

National program for Program Safety. Playground Safety Tips, [Internet], 2001; [cited 2010 Feb 22] Available from: http:/ www. uni. edu/ Playground/ Tips/SAFE/fallsurf_guidelines. htm

Omolo D. An assessment of the implementation of safety policies in public secondary schools in kisumu east and west districts, Edu. Res 2010; 1 (11): 637-49

Adegbenro CA Effect of a school health program on ensuring safe environments for primary school children. J R Soc Health 2007; 127(1): 29-32.

Puts K, Mattrow J. Healthy Primary School Canteens Aust. J. Prim. Health 2000; 6(1): 111– 120.

How to Cite
Abdulla, S., Najib, B., & Al-Tawil, N. (2018). Assessment of primary schools’ environment in Erbil city. Zanco Journal of Medical Sciences (Zanco J Med Sci), 17(2), 417-421.
Original Articles