Ministry of National Education establishes toilet board

Here’s to committees. We are aware of how important administrative bodies are in sustaining the bureaucracy in this county suffocated by paperwork and stamps/signatures, but the latest six-person board beats your wildest dreams: It’s the toilet cabinet, founded by the Ministry of National Education.

Yup, you read it right. This committee is the Don Quixote of the education system fighting against a lack of toilets in school buildings by approving local authorities’ (in this specific case, the city’s mayor) applications to purchase mobile toilets for schools without indoor toilets.

Around 30 percent (or 2,219) of the schools in Romania didn’t have indoor toilets in 2017, according to a document released by the Ministry of National Education that year. By 2019, this number had dropped to 1,180. The government allocated RON 65,000 to connect them to the sewage system in 2019, but apparently the funds weren’t enough – or something similar – because the problem persists. In 2020, there still are schools with outdoor toilets in Romania.

Hence the need to found the toilet board:

“The commission for granting the approval of the Ministry of National Education and Research that certifies the need to set up mobile toilets in order to carry out teaching activities in sanitary safety”

is its full name. It contains just VIPs, likely all professionals.

The board will release reviews and approve local authority funding requests to purchase mobile toilets using EU financing. In order to get such approval, you need to read the 29-page application guide to see if the institution you represent qualifies for funding and submit six documents, which the commission checks. If, for some reason, the institution is not on the list of 135 schools named in the documentation, you need to get a certificate from the Ministry of Education and Research to support your request.

Considering that schools were mostly empty in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it would have been better to focus on connecting all schools to the sewage system. But why, when you can simply solve the matter simply by founding another committee? We are wondering whether this board’s work will be supervised by a superior toilet committee?

Title image: Outdoor toilet at a school in Romania. Image source: Aradihirek.ro

Author: István Fekete