By B. Foogooa
A few days back there was a hue and cry, as reported by ‘Le Mauricien’ of 14 June, 2012, at the Regis Chaperon SSS at Belle Rose, about the poor hygienic conditions of the premises and mostly the lavatories.
It is worth recalling that almost one year back we, the St Jean-Sodnac Senior Citizen Association, (SSSCA), addressed a petition, signed by a few hundred people to the Minister of Education about dirty lavatories in most schools of the island.
A copy of same was also addressed to most dailies and weeklies. But to our utter astonishment, barring only one weekly, namely the ‘Mauritius Times’, not a single other paper thought it worthy for publication.
We note, en passant, with satisfaction the several positive measures likely to be taken by the Ministry of Education & Human Resources to enhance the academic performance and the overall personality of our schoolchildren.
Actually clean lavatories, with clean taps, wash-basins, clean towels, soap and water are the basic prerequisites for personal hygiene. Cleanliness is, they say, next to Godliness, and is a dominant factor for a sound health and better quality is life.
It is understood that a few months back there was an acute shortage of water all over the island. But now that the water supply has greatly improved it is not too demanding to upgrade the cleanliness of school premises and most importantly, of lavatories. The more so that the public is constantly exhorted on the media to properly wash their hands so as to avoid communicable diseases.
Most schoolchildren observe that lavatories at our public beaches are far cleaner and better maintained than those of school premises. And worse of all, the school children try hard, with distended bladder, to avoid them.
The good incumbent Minister of Education who is himself a highly qualified Medical Specialist, to boot, should make the cleaning up of all school premises the priority of priorities. Prevention is better than cure and is far less costly than high-tech medicine.
Of course it is not the job of a Minister to personally probe into such matters. Most probably lacunae emanate from advisory or supervisory bodies. Whatever it may be, let us hope the Ministry of Education and HR will take appropriate remedial measures as soon as possible to redress the situation so that school children may come out of the predicament they find themselves in these days.
Besides, the latter, as responsible and caring citizens, are expected not to vandalise public properties, be they school premises, school buses, etc.
On behalf of the SSSCA
* Published in print edition on 29 June 2012