RAS introduces new Happy Toilet six-star rating
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.
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
RAS gives out 17 awards at the sixth LOO (Let’s Observe
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
RAS recognises more than 70 restroom cleaning attendants at
its LOO (Let’s Observe Ourselves) Carnivals & Exhibitions
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.
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
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.
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.
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.