In 88 schools, students have access only to outdoor toilets


In 88 educational institutions of the country, children can use only latrine toilets located in the schoolyard. In another 546 institutions, there are flush toilets (WC) inside the blocks of study. Even so, students use the toilet outside. At the same time, 39 institutions use dry toilets, with access from inside the building. Access to four institutions is from the courtyard. The data were presented at a roundtable meeting organized by the parliamentary commission for culture, education, research, youth, sports and the media, IPN reports.

“We have schools that tried to solve the problem in places, creating spaces inside, but we have many schools, over 500, which continue to use the latrines in the schoolyard in parallel with the sanitary facilities existing inside. There are many explanations. Either they don’t have enough water to handle them indoors or they lack a sewer network. Some of schools also reported that it is far too expensive to transport wastewater to a wastewater treatment plant. Respectively, they limit access or allow only primary school children, only staff. In most cases, several solutions are used in parallel,” said Corina Andronic, UNICEF representative.

According to her, in the case of the 88 schools where students have no alternative and have to go to latrine toilets located in the courtyard, these are institutions that were not designed as schools and use other types of buildings. Most of the time, they simply do not have space for these needs.

The UNICEF assessment also focused on the ensuring of student privacy. Corina Andronic said that the figures are not really encouraging, but there are changes. It was established that toilets in 696 schools have individual cabins with walls and doors, ensuring a level of privacy. In 205 schools, the sanitary facilities offer a low level of privacy, with only sidewalls and no doors. Also, in 67 institutions, the sanitary facilities do not have partition walls, although separate spaces were provided for boys and girls.

“The part that concerns us, beyond the equipment of these cabins, is the limited number of toilet cabins available to children in schools with a larger number of students. Although the sanitary norm recommends one cabin for every 40 students, we have situations when a cabin is intended for about 100 students. This has an impact on the practices of maintaining and operating sanitary facilities,” said Corina Andronic.

The assessment also shows that only 285 institutions provide enough toilet paper throughout the school year. 428 institutions buy toilet paper, but not enough, while another 255 schools do not buy toilet paper. Eight educational institutions constantly provide menstrual hygiene products to their students, while another 208 institutions offer them only for emergencies and only through the institution’s medical staff.

The UNICEF experts formulated recommendations, the main one being to build indoor sanitary facilities in educational institutions that don’t have indoor facilities, ensuring that they are accessible to children and adults with disabilities. They also recommended repairing the sanitary facilities and increasing the number of handwashing facilities.