Class, everyone must help clean up every day
BY THE end of this year, students in all schools - from primary schools to junior colleges - will be involved in the daily cleaning of their school environment.
The move is introduced to inculcate in students good habits such as a sense of responsibility and care, said the Ministry of Education yesterday.
Cleaning can be carried out at various periods of the school day, such as before the first lesson, during recess, in between classes, or before dismissal.
Areas that the students will clean include the classrooms and common spaces such as canteens and corridors.
Prior to the move, many schools - such as Xingnan Primary, Park View Primary and New Town Secondary - have already put in place between five and 10 minutes of cleaning activities within their school hours daily.
At Xingnan Primary in Jurong West, for instance, pupils are involved in cleaning after their recess and at the end of the school day.
Primary 1 pupils also have an activity to document how they assist their family members with household chores.
"If we don't keep the classroom clean, we might not be able to concentrate during lessons," said Primary 5 pupil Nadya Adriana, 11, who usually helps to sweep the floor or wipe the whiteboards during recess or before dismissal.
At Park View Primary, pupils clean their classrooms five minutes before the school day ends.
Acting Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng, who visited Xingnan Primary yesterday, observed a lesson on inculcating good habits of cleaning up, and joined the pupils in such activities at the end of the school day.
He hopes the initiatives would cultivate in students good life habits, which can be practised at home as well.
Most students - including older ones - shared that cleaning activities do not take up much of their time, and will do them willingly.
Parents welcome the new move and are pleased that the schools are encouraging such habits from young.
Patricia Peh, 40, whose 11-year-old daughter is studying at Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' Primary School, said children need to be more involved in such chores.
"Households these days have helpers, and some parents treat their children like princes and princesses, so it is difficult to enforce cleaning at home," she added.
But a few wondered if it may take away class time. Lee May Cheng, 38, who has a seven-year-old son, added that such activities may not be suitable for younger children.
"They may get too tired after the cleaning," the housewife said, especially if the activities are repeated throughout the day. "And they may not be able to concentrate during the lessons afterwards."