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Singaporeans taught from young age to respect both washrooms and those that clean them
Armed with such a cool name for a school, inspirational school leaders and a dedicated team of educators, Horizon Primary School, Singapore, ventured into the STAR Programme (Sustaining Toilets As Restrooms) for the first time and on its maiden journey, came out impressively with a series of wonderfully executed projects as well as providing a high standard of washroom maintenance.
The Restroom Association of Singapore Inspector was impressed by how much it achieved in just its first year of participation in a programme designed to teach youngsters the importance of good hygiene and to respect washrooms and those that clean them.
Different groups of pupils attended workshops and an assembly talk conducted by RAS to prepare them for the variety of projects that they would be undertaking as part of the programme and pupils from the school not only designed the decorations for their washrooms, but they also held an exhibition at the canteen, inspected their washrooms, conducted an assembly talk and offered tokens of appreciation to their school cleaners.
Meticulous preparation and coordination was key to their success and the goal of conveying important messages of proper washroom etiquette and good personal habits was certainly highlighted.
A few schools within the RAS STAR Programme ventured out of the 'washroom decorating' comfort zone and took a creative swing at completing other projects. Woodlands Ring Primary and Qihua Primary are two such schools that belong to this list of high achievers. The entire Primary 3 Level of Woodlands Ring Primary School were empowered as Toilet Inspectors to regularly monitor the cleanliness of their school washrooms for three months. They were given formal training, customised identity cards and a carefully created checklist to complete this task. Upon completion of each inspection, any feedback was directed to the persons in charge for rectification.
Qihua Primary went one step further with the idea of peer education. It chose a select group of students to be 'big brothers' and 'big sisters' of some kindergarten children at a preschool in Woodlands. These older 'siblings' carefully prepared games and an assembly presentation to better engage the children while also conveying the message of good personal hygiene and proper washroom etiquette.
After an initial presentation, the children were assigned to small groups to interact and play games with the student facilitators. Qihua students also inspected washrooms in their own school as an addition to their preschool outreach. Needless to say, both schools achieved the GOLD Star for their efforts as well as for providing trained cleaners and quality washrooms in their schools.
29th January 2015