Contact Us                Advertise                                                             OCT-DEC 2014

RAS introduces new Happy Toilet six-star rating

At the sixth LOO (Let’s Observe Ourselves) Awards ceremony held at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College East to commemorate World Toilet Day, RAS introduced a new Happy Toilet six-star rating. For this new rating, toilet owners have to achieve a near perfect score of at least 104 out of 108. Apart from the provision of user-friendly and eco-friendly facilities, adoption of technology to increase productivity and efficiency such as automated feedback system, odour monitoring and automated cleaning are required. In addition, all cleaning attendants maintaining the six-star Happy Toilets must have undergone the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) module in washroom cleaning. Therefore, RAS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Center for Competency-Based Learning and Development (CBLD) to provide better training on toilet cleaning. This partnership would see participants, for the first time, not only receiving the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Statement of Attainment but also a Certificate of Attendance by the RAS.


The current three-star rating, which is equivalent to the minimum standards set by the National Environment Agency, remains the same at a score of at least 60. However, higher scores apply to four and five-star ratings. Four-star happy toilets need to achieve a score of at least 86 and be equipped with user-friendly facilities such as toilets for wheelchair users, aged and children. Five-star Happy Toilets on the other hand, has to achieve a score of at least 96 and be equipped with both user-friendly and eco-friendly facilities. The purpose of the revision is to improve user experience and meet higher public expectations. The changes took effect from 1 January 2015.


RAS gives out 17 awards at the sixth LOO (Let’s Observe Ourselves) Awards

A total of 17 awards recipients including the Best Happy Toilet category which is not open for nominations were invited on the stage to receive the LOO Awards from Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources Mr Choi Shing Kwok. In his speech, Mr Choi cited several notable recipeints such as construction firm Unison Construction that not only certified all its construction site toilets as Happy Toilets but also engaged RAS to conduct educational talks and training for their workers and supervisors on site. Educational institutions ITE College East and Unity Primary School were commended by Mr Choi for spearheading an on-going “Positive Action for the Care of Toilets” (+ACT) campaign and a ‘No-Cleaners Day’ respectively.

Mr Choi did not forget to credit three awarded restroom attendants whom had tirelessly given their utmost to what was often an unrecognised and unappreciated task. After the awards ceremony, Mr Choi had the opportunity to view educational posters that were creatively designed by students. Educational games were also set up by ITE College East with the World Toilet Organization supporting the event to showcase its overseas projects in countries such as Cambodia and India.


RAS recognises more than 70 restroom cleaning attendants at its LOO (Let’s Observe Ourselves) Carnivals & Exhibitions

At its LOO Carnivals & Exhibitions this year, RAS incorporated recognition of restroom attendants with close to $2,600 worth of grocery vouchers presented to more than 70 attendants for their strong commitment in maintaining the Happy Toilets. Games were conducted by volunteers to educate the young to keep Happy Toilets clean so as to lighten the attendants’ workload. In AMK Hub, volunteers also distributed educational tissue packets to patrons to show their kindness to the attendants. Donations contributed by kind-hearted souls via SG Gives web portal were used to purchase grocery vouchers and close to $4,500 worth of vouchers had been distributed in 2014 to more than 100 attendants including the three LOO Awards recipients. Banners were displayed at the carnivals & exhibitions to urge the public to donate selflessly.


The first grocery voucher distribution was done in July at a fund-raising carnival organised by a team of four passionate Dunman High students. In 2008, the son of a restroom attendant wrote to The Straits Times urging for higher wages. He shared that his father’s monthly pay of $700 in 1995 was barely enough to support the family and 13 years later in 2008, his basic pay was $750. The plight of many low-income attendants has prompted RAS to actively seek the public to support its noble cause by making a minimum donation of $10 online at SG Gives, a secured charity donation portal and tax deduction is available for all donations.


RAS participates in Idea Jam 2014 co-organised by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and The Straits Times

RAS, a Voluntary Welfare Organisation (VWO) is honoured to be one of the 10 community partners on board the Idea Jam, an all-new initiative that supports youth volunteerism and service learning. The event was organised from 1st – 4th October at the ITE College Central with 10 teams of youths presenting their proposals of helping their respective community partners, to a panel of judges on the final day. Training was provided for the participants so that they could effectively conduct an interview.

A team of four students arrived at our office on 1st October to interview us and find out more about our objectives and challenges. On the final day of the event, the team successfully convince the panel of judges to qualify for seed funding of up to $3,000 to launch a campaign to get people to take care of public restrooms using elements such as a fun Facebook quiz and decals with humorous messages. Their standout ideas also won praises from Guest of Honour, MCCY Parliamentary Secretary Ms Low Yen Ling who expressed her support on a less talked toilet subject in her speech.

The Horizon is looking pretty good for this school

Armed with such a cool name for a school, inspirational school leaders and a dedicated team of Educators, Horizon Primary School ventured into the STAR Programme for the first time and in its maiden journey, has come out impressively with a series of wonderfully executed projects as well as providing a high standard of washroom maintenance. This RAS Inspector was blown away by how much it achieved in just its first year of participation. 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.

Pupils from the school not only designed the decorations for their washrooms, but also held an exhibition at the canteen, inspected their washrooms, conducted an assembly talk and offered tokens of appreciation to their school cleaners after the assembly talk. Was it mentioned earlier that Horizon Primary has never participated in the programme prior to 2014? 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. This writer’s hat is off in awe and appreciation of the school’s accomplishments and looks forward to how Horizon Primary can build on this for the new year.


Featured school projects from our STAR (Sustaining Toilets As Restrooms) programme

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 a period of 3 months. They were given formal training, customised identity cards and a carefully created checklist to completed 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.



This e-newsletter was delivered to you by
Restroom Association (Singapore)