The Romanian Ministry of Public Education and Research has embarked on a Herculean task just as the year 2020 draws to a close to eliminate outdoor toilets from schools, Hungarian-language news portal Főtér writes. To help realize this goal, the Romanian government has set up a committee tasked with this goal. It is no minor issue either. At the end of 2019, a total 1,180 schools still one had such toilets in the European Union member state. The committee has adopted the title of “The committee set up by the Ministry of Public Education and Research for licensing purposes, which justifies the need for restrooms to carry out educational activities in safe health conditions”. The committee’s founding document was signed by Minister of Education Monica Anisie herself.
While the effort itself is commendable, the basic task of the committee is a rather bureaucratic one. What it actually does is rubber-stamp municipalities’ requests for European Union funds for the purpose. In practice, if a mayor wants to provide somewhat more humane conditions in backyard schools toilets with European money, he or she will compile the requisite dossier (an application, a supervisor’s contribution, two self-responsibility statements, and a report) and sends it to Bucharest. The committee will then weigh the merits of the request and in an optimal scenario give approval to the mayor to apply for EU funds but not — as one would expect, for a proper sewage and canalization system — but for the more modern versions of the same, mobile toilets.