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  • All School Restrooms in Seoul to be Improved by 2020

  • SMG 7931
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    After the project during 2014~2016 by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education to improve the state of 440 restrooms across elementary, middle and high schools, which had poor standards of cleanliness, the student satisfaction regarding the school restrooms reached 97%, which is remarkably high. It means the satisfaction regarding what used to be the most unpleasant and unsatisfying space, the school restrooms, changed drastically among more than six of ten students.

    The School Restroom Improvement Project is conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education. By 2017, a total of 106.2 billion KRW will be put into the project by the two organizations along with several autonomous districts and private companies. In particular, after installing teeth brushing sinks where many students can brush their teeth at once in 101 schools last year for the first time, the rate of teeth brushing, which was almost the lowest in the nation, nearly doubled (36.6% to 60.1%) compared to the previous year.

    Based on this accomplishment, the Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to complete the first step of the three-year project to ensure all students’ sound rights for learning by thoroughly improving dirty and inconvenient school restrooms by 2020.

    The Image of Gildong Elementary School’s Restroom (before (left)/after (right) the improvement)

    It plans to focus on the improvement of restrooms aiming to accomplish the “Zero inconvenient school restrooms” in 2017. First of all, it will make 245 schools across elementary, middle and high schools whose portion of western toilets is less than 60% equip western-style toilets, meaning the portion of western-style toilets will reach over 80%. It aims to remove the inconvenience caused by oriental style toilets, which is because many students are much more accustomed to using western-style toilets than oriental ones.

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government also plans to improve the 82 school restrooms where over 15 students have to use a toilet on average so that the students there will not need to wait to use their school toilets. The data from the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education in 2010 says the proper student number per toilet should be 11. However, as many as 39 students have to use a toilet in some schools, which is really serious. In addition, based on the results of complete enumeration survey until late February about how many schools have more students than toilets, a customized improvement plan will be conducted.

    Specifically, after installing teeth brushing sinks where many students can brush their teeth at once in 101 schools last year for the first time, the rate of teeth brushing, which was almost the lowest in the nation, nearly doubled (36.6% to 60.1%) compared to that of the previous year. In contrast, the rate of students who don’t brush their teeth drastically decreased from 63.4% to 39.9%.

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government planned to improve the restrooms of 675 schools, a half of the 1,300 elementary, middle and high schools in Seoul, during the first step of the school restroom improvement project (from 2015 to 2017, and the pilot project which occurred in 2014). However, it increased the target number of schools and will complete the improvement of 800 schools’ restrooms.

    Through the second step of the project from 2018 to 2020, it plans to investigate the demands for restrooms from students and parents, and to collect opinions from the related agencies, therefore it will completely improve all the old and unclean school restrooms in Seoul.

    School authorities reported that school violence decreased and user satisfaction increased throughout the previous three-year school restroom improvement project with the start of the pilot project in 2014.