Is school sanitation in industrialised countries not good?

573 views

Page selection:
  • paresh
  • paresh's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Moderator
  • Budding WASH researcher, especially interested in governance, public policy, finance, politics and social justice. Architect, Urban & Regional planner by training, Ex. C-WAS, India.I am a patient person :)
  • Posts: 347
  • Karma: 7
  • Likes received: 132

Re: Is school sanitation in industrialised countries not good?

Dear Remi,
I continue to be surprised. In the missionary school I studied in, I do not remember ever holding myself from relieving myself due to the cleanliness of the toilet block. For some classrooms, the toilet block was very far, given that the school was on a hill and going to the loo involved climbing some steps. The number of urinals and toilet seats were highly inadequate; one would have to wait, generally we were allowed to leave classrooms only during the breaks. But the urinals were generally clean, the toilets not always. It probably had to do with the limited lighting inside the toilet, but I don't recall (I will reach out to my buddies to check. Also, this is a good topic for discussion and bringing life to school groups).

Do you think the location of toilet blocks contributed to them being space for bullying? I am now wondering if there are any guidelines for locating/siting toilet block/s within school premises? 

Regards
paresh
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
Researcher at Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, India
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @Sparsh85
Wikipedia: Sparsh85

Co-moderator of this discussion forum

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • SusannahClemence
  • SusannahClemence's Avatar
  • independent researcher
  • Posts: 53
  • Karma: 2
  • Likes received: 20

Re: Is school sanitation in industrialised countries not good?

I think it is time flush toilets were decoupled from the ideal of safe, acceptable  and sustainable sanitation. They may be part of a safe and sustainable system, but they don't guarantee it.  For instance, a water flush is inevitably going to take faeces towards open water. Whether it is filtered or not depends on downstream infrastructure that may or may not be connected and functional. In the UK, we are aware that our nice clean toilets are emptying unfiltered faeces into our previously nice, clean, swimmable rivers. So a shiny white toilet bowl doesn't mean safe or sustainable sanitation.
Unfortunately, they tend to be seen as indicators of safety and, by extension, sustainability.  Likewise, even a freshly painted toilet cubicle can also be dirty and smelly, lack security, accessibility or privacy, and be the place where people intimidate and abuse each other.

It would be great to take a fresh start, making all toilets, all over the world, safe and sustainable, as well as pleasant to use, and valued. Whatever that takes. Perhaps the very word "toilet" needs replacing with something that has less of a presumption of a private cubicle containing a raised seat leading to a system that takes urine, faeces and other semi-solid wastes "away".

Thank you for this discussion!
Susannah

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • rkaupp
  • rkaupp's Avatar
  • Rémi Kaupp Executive Director, Container-Based Sanitation Alliance
  • Posts: 45
  • Karma: 3
  • Likes received: 26

Re: Is school sanitation in industrialised countries not good?

I don't have a lot of memories from primary school, but I vividly remember the awful toilets, and indeed holding it in until reaching home. This, and the bullying that would happen there.
Not that it's a topic that captures much public / media attention, unfortunately.
Rémi Kaupp
Executive Director, Container-Based Sanitation Alliance
The following user(s) like this post: paresh

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • paresh
  • paresh's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Moderator
  • Budding WASH researcher, especially interested in governance, public policy, finance, politics and social justice. Architect, Urban & Regional planner by training, Ex. C-WAS, India.I am a patient person :)
  • Posts: 347
  • Karma: 7
  • Likes received: 132

Is school sanitation in industrialised countries not good?

Dear members,
Sharing an article  I recently came across, it discusses the sorry state of sanitary facilities in schools in Germany. The condition is so poor that more than half of pupils admitted they delay using toilets till they reach home. The following quote captures both the poor condition and its impact on learning 

“There was urine on the floor, which was very sticky, and it stank. The toilet was very dark and a lot of the toilet seats had been destroyed by vandalism. The mood was very depressing. It wasn’t very nice sitting in class with such a pressing feeling,”

I am glad that the situation has caught public attention, and work on improving it is already on the way.  The fact that the students and their parents are involved in making the situation better is certainly worth appreciation. I hope the situation turns better for all schools soon.

Honestly, I was surprised to learn about the sorry state of school sanitation in one of the most developed countries. That it is finally getting attention in 2024, almost a decade after monitoring under the SDGs, which incorporate sanitation in non-domestic settings, is also surprising.

I am curious to know about school sanitation in other industrialised countries, especially to understand if the case of German schools is the norm or an exception.

Regards
paresh
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
Researcher at Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, India
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @Sparsh85
Wikipedia: Sparsh85

Co-moderator of this discussion forum

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
Page selection:
Share this thread:
Recently active users. Who else has been active?
Time to create page: 0.085 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum