Clean Public Toilets Campaign 2023 to include pilot toilet cleanliness module for primary school students

Clean Public Toilets Campaign 2023 to include pilot toilet cleanliness module for primary school students


The PHC, which has been supporting the campaign since 2021, will pilot a toilet cleanliness module as part of the Buddy Clean Workshop programme for primary school students. 

The programme seeks to inculcate positive social values and norms on cleanliness amongst Primary 3 and 4 students, said NEA. 

“Through the (toilet cleanliness) module, students will get to pick up practical skills and knowledge on how to keep public spaces, including public toilets, clean,” it said. 

PHC chairman Andrew Khng told CNA that while the details have not been firmed up, the module will involve students cleaning school toilets, and will be introduced early next year.

“The adoption is to ensure that students pick up this habit of … cleaning the toilet after their own use,” Mr Khng said. 

“From the PHC’s perspective, the actions are more than just theoretical. So the practical part of it, we’d also like to see that they adopt the cleaning of the toilets,” he said, adding that the PHC will be engaging schools and students before determining the extent of the practical portion.

The goal will be to roll the programme out to all primary schools as a regular module.

When asked about the findings of the SMU study on campaign efficacy, Mr Khng said that while campaigns create awareness, education is “critical”.

“That’s why we start from young,” he said, adding that improving cleanliness is “always (a) work in progress”.

SKM director Michelle Tay suggested that the poor showing of coffee shop toilets could be attributed to infrastructure. 

“If the toilet is not maintained properly, or if the systems there are not even up to date, the flush is not working, there is no toilet paper … Those are already fixed structures that the users can’t control,” she said. 

“But what can we do as fellow toilet users? That’s the second part of it, which I think SKM feels the importance of. How can we all take ownership of our shared spaces and then encourage … good behaviour?”

Meanwhile, the RAS gave an update on its Let’s Observe Ourselves (LOO) Campaign @ Hawker Centres, which was inaugurated in 2021 to improve cleanliness at hawker centre toilets. 

RAS president Ho Chee Kit said that the association had reached out to 80 hawker centres and distributed educational tissue packets to more than 25,000 members of the public, garnering more than 1,200 online pledges to keep hawker centre toilets clean.

RAS launched the LOO Campaign @ Coffee Shops on Nov 16. It will include training on toilet design and maintenance for staff, toilet audits and public engagement activities at coffee shops.

Madam Li Xiu Mei, who cleans four toilets within One Punggol Hawker Centre daily, has seen her share of bad behaviour.

She has encountered people who do not flush after defecating, those who wash their feet with bidets, staining floors with dirt, and, just last week, a user who left faeces around a toilet bowl.

When asked if she had any suggestions on how to make her job easier, the 56-year-old, who has nine years of experience as a cleaner, said in Mandarin: “One more person to help clean (would help). I’m used to working alone but if there was one more person to help me at the same time then my job would be easier.”