American teacher takes the restroom to the classroom
In my recent visit to Seoul, which took me to a noted middle school, the principal told me he was surprised to learn that when a visiting committee asked students what changes they'd like to see, the number one suggestion was cleaner lavatories.
Keating is showing schools both in the U. S. and internationally could profit from his work at Project CLEAN
Mumbai: How often do school authorities ask students whether theyÃ¢€™re satisfied with
the restrooms? Or teach children how to use a Western-style loo? Or ensure that
the restrooms never run out of soap and towels?
ThatÃ¢€™s exactly what Dr Tom Keating, a US-based school restroom expert asked
students, teachers and principals from a cross-section of schools in Mumbai last
week. His visit to the schools, which was facilitated by Clean India JournalÃ¢€”a Mumbai-based
magazine dealing with the cleaning industryÃ¢€”included visiting both municipal schools
as well as upmarket private institutions such as Podar International School at Santa
Cruz, Jamnabai Narsee School at Juhu and Hiranandani School, Powai. While he spoke
to teachers at civic schools, at private schools he interacted with both students
Surprisingly, Keating felt that there was scope for improvement of the toilets
at all the schools that he visited. KeatingÃ¢€™s method of assessment is simpleÃ¢€”-he
asked children to rate the loos at school.
"While all schools have paintings done by students adorning the walls and bulletin
boards, do you ever see a sign on the wall telling you to flush the loo?" asks
Keating. Despite the fact that going to the bathroom is a basic physical need, toilet
hygiene is rarely discussed in school and there are no instructions on how to use
the loo, says Keating. He adds that students often stand on a Western-style loo
instead of sitting on it. He spoke to children on the need for team-work when it
came to keeping the loos clean.
Ã¢€œWhen the loos arenÃ¢€™t clean and well-kept and students Ã¢€˜hold it inÃ¢€™ all day;
it not only affects them physically, but it also affects their concentration in
the classroom,Ã¢€™Ã¢€™ he says. One of the things that impressed him about schools in
Mumbai, though, was the absence of graffiti on the walls.
According to Keating, who has worked closely with a large number of schools
in the US, his work involves Ã¢€œgaining the trust of principals, reviewing bathrooms
and working with studentsÃ¢€™Ã¢€™.
Keating is in India for the World Toilet Summit in New Delhi, which begins on
Monday. He will present a paper titled "Leading Children from Soap to Citizenship
to Improve Wellness."
(India) Times News Network
INDEX OF YAHOO, GOOD NEWS!