Toilets and washbasins do not exist or do not work in at least 87 elementary schools in Serbia, and the number is growing, according to a study conducted by CINS.
“In a large survey conducted by CINS, we checked whether there were soaps and paper towels in elementary schools and almost a third of students and parents responded that there were none or not enough. Where hygiene in bathrooms is poor there is a risk of transmitting infections, and if children don’t have or avoid using the bathroom, psychological problems can occur as well,” the study says.
According to data from 27 schools that were analyzed by the CINS, sanitary facilities, sinks and other devices for washing hands did not exist or did not work in 6.41% of the schools checked in 2016 while that percentage grew to 8.83% in 2019.
“This means that at least 87 schools and classrooms in the suburbs do not have toilets or sinks. This number could be even higher because during the annual inspection only a third of schools were visited,” reports the CINS.
“Most of the schools with poor hygiene are located in the district of Zlatibor, near Uzice and Prijepolje. The reason for this is mainly the lack of proper drinking water,” explains Dr. Olivera Janjić from the Užice Institute. There are at least 21 school buildings in the vicinity of Šabac that have outdoor toilets.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development explained to the CINS that the maintenance of school facilities is the responsibility of local governments, but that the Ministry is currently intervening due to the epidemic, which is why new funds and equipment for hygiene in schools have been allocated.
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