Friday, May 26, 2006

pay-to-pee loos in school?

NST reported today that SRK Infant Jesus Convent in Johor Bahru is charging their primary-school students a fee of 10 sen to use the loo.

Their excuse? To recover the RM60K spent by the PTA presumably on upgrading the quality of the little kids’ rooms. Also, some of the teachers said that this move was needed in order to discourage the kids from hanging out in the new toilets. Apparently, “many students are excusing themselves from classes to go to the toilet. This is disrupting lessons.” During recess, however, admittance is free.

I think it’s ridiculous to make these little kids pay, especially if they’re like my brother and need to relieve himself ever-so-often. Hey, can’t blame him and others alike for having healthy bladders! Think about it. 10 sen is quite a lot of money especially if your whole-day’s allowance is just 50 sen.

And don’t even think of telling them to hold it in (which is what many of the students are reportedly doing) because hello, have you ever heard of batu karang?One parent revealed that some of these children were reluctant to drink a lot for fear of having to “go” at school.

How anyone—teachers, especially—can be so cruel to the little ones is beyond me, really.

Look, all they gotta do is be like my teachers way back when: have stringent rules about going to the toilet during teaching hours.

* No one could go without a pass, and each class only has 2/3 passes.
* Each pass only entitles you to be out of class for a maximum of 10 minutes, after which the teacher/prefects will go looking for you.
* Since we had more than one toilet, they were segregated, i.e. Toilet A is strictly for Standards 1 & 2, Toilet B for Standards 3 & 4, Toilet C for Standards 5 & 6.
* If any of the above rules weren’t adhered to, the guilty student will be punished, i.e. perform litter duties for a week.
As for getting back monies spent, heck, the PTA should just be more pro-active throughout the year(s) and organise various stuff that will bring about cash inflow like School Food Day.

At the same time, they can just be honest with the parents and write a letter out to them with the title “RE: Donations For The Betterment Of The School.” Yes, it will take a long time, but hey, so will collecting 10 sen from each kid!

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