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NST Poll: Getting students to clean school toilets teaches them about responsibility, moral duties

Publish date: Sun, 04 Jun 2023, 06:12 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Tasking students to keep their school facilities - including toilets - clean, will help instil positive values and educate them about moral responsibility.

This was the view of a majority of people in a question-and-answer session conducted by the New Straits Times via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter today.

Social media user Shirley Tay said school students should participate in keeping their school clean.

"This is not about cleaning toilets. This is about growing up. Learning to be a responsible person and to be appreciative of your surroundings."

Many people also shared their experience in school where they were responsible in cleaning the classrooms and toilets, saying it was a good culture of a civic-minded society.

N Has Lina wrote: "Back in my school days in KL, each class needed do rounds around the school to collect rubbish after recess and clean the classroom.

"So, I don't mind my children being asked to clean anything at school."

Mohd Jefry Hassan said he and schoolmates felt proud and happy to keep their school clean.

"During my primary school days in the 70s, we came early to school to collect rubbish and tree leaves. For Standard 5 and 6 students, they were helping to clean the toilets," he wrote.

Some people, however opposed the idea, while others raised caution saying it should be implemented with great care to ensure that it served its purpose and that it does not take away the job of cleaners.

Oviyah Viji commented: "I strictly say no. Nowadays, kids get germ attacks quickly and you can't clean without chemicals. And it would definitely affect their health."

Chin Foong Khim suggested that schools draw up a comprehensive programme that would be inclusive and educational at the same time.

"Hope the teachers don't go overboard with washing toilets and students are not put off and view this negatively," he said.

Parent Action Group for Education (Page) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said toilet hygiene is paramount as it helped with building humility and empathy.

"Inculcating the hygienic way of using the toilet is a higher priority than learning to clean a toilet. It starts from home, nonetheless.

"We laud Japanese school children when we see them perform living skills in their classrooms and prepare their own food in their canteens. Yet, we fail to emulate what we already know is an exemplary way of life."

She said the group supported the idea, and it suggested a weekly duty roster extended to toilet hygiene with no student being exempted from the responsibility.

During an event yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said cleaning toilets should not be viewed as a degrading task and believed that getting students to do it would help instil positive values in them.

He also pointed out to a need to improve school toilets that had been in deplorable and neglected state.

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