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Cleaner toilets installed in most schools

By ZOU SHUO | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-12-30 09:36

Almost all primary and secondary school students and kindergarten pupils have access to sanitary toilets after years of efforts to renovate toilets used by students, the Ministry of Education said on Wednesday.

Liu Changya, director of the ministry's department of development planning, said toilets in 141,000 primary and secondary schools and kindergartens were renovated from 2013 to 2018 and those in another 67,000 schools have been renovated since 2019.

With the exception of a small handful of schools in certain areas, all the toilets in the nation's primary and secondary schools and kindergartens meet basic safety and sanitation requirements, Liu said at a news conference.

With the better conditions in school toilets, the risks of intestinal infectious disease have been reduced and students no longer need to drink less water because they do not want to use the school toilets, he said.

The ministry also included toilet etiquette in students' courses and textbooks to help students develop sanitary habits and healthy lifestyles early on, he said.

The "toilet revolution" in schools has great significance because a powerful country should also be a civilized one and rural students who have developed good sanitary habits at schools will also influence their family members, he added.

Zou Lianke, director of the Guizhou Provincial Education Department, said the province has invested more than 1.1 billion yuan ($173 million) in the building and renovation of more than 12,000 school toilets since 2018.

Many rural schools in the province used to have no toilets or only dry or unsanitary ones, and the renovation has greatly improved the conditions of the schools, he said.

Ma Jing, principal of the Dawei village primary school in Xiuwu county of Henan province, said that since 2019, toilets in all 149 primary and secondary schools and kindergartens in the county have been upgraded to flush toilets and the county government has invested 13.3 million yuan in the initiative.

The school used to only have dry toilets with poor sanitary conditions, which could become very smelly in summer, so it was not pleasant for students to use the toilets, she said.

The toilets were turned into flush ones last year with ventilators, windows and hand washing sinks, and doors and partitions have been installed to protect students' privacy, she said.

Art teachers at the school also painted pictures on the toilet walls and ceilings, and the new toilets have been well-received by the students, Ma said.

School toilets are mirrors reflecting the civilization level of the school and are also important places to teach students the importance of personal hygiene, saving water and taking care of public facilities, she added.

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