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Monday, June 5, 2023

YOURSAY | Cleaning toilets should be a habit, not punishment


YOURSAY | It should be used to raise civic consciousness among students.

Cleaning toilets: Schools can start with naughty students first - PTA

DragonKing: The act of cleaning toilets should be used to raise civic consciousness among students. It shouldn't only be for the naughty students.

In my opinion, the mindset of the National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) president Mohamad Ali Hasan should change.

All students are good except for those who are mischievous, possibly due to conditions at home and environmental factors.

These students need assistance and counselling rather than being shamed, which may worsen their behaviour.

Civic consciousness is respecting our environment and the people who keep it clean.

GreenBear: Will teachers be asked to clean their toilets too? How about toilets in other government offices?

It’s all fine and good to teach children to keep their toilets clean.

But if we adults don’t start cleaning our own toilets too, the only impression this will give the kids is that when they grow up, it’s someone else’s job to clean.

That they’re only cleaning toilets now because they’re students who are expected to be obedient, while the adults stroke their ego by ordering the kids to do the cleaning.

It’s not just toilets. How about the environment? We teach our kids about the importance of biodiversity, conserving our forest, etc.

Yet, the adults are the ones cutting down trees, doing little to nothing about our native endangered species.

What about racism?

There are still people who discourage their children from learning our national language, there are still people who scare their kids with racist slurs about others, there are still people discriminating against foreign workers, etc.

What about violence? Malaysians still beat their kids to get them to do what they want.

Ironically, they still expect their children not to resort to beatings or bullying when they can’t get their way with others in school.

We also judge children harshly for dangerous behaviours on the road.

Yet, how many adults, even old ones, don’t give signals, speed, cut people off, are impatient at traffic lights and U-turns, etc?

There are many, even from those generations during Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's days as education minister. Where are the societal values that they learnt in school from cleaning toilets?

Children's behaviours are simply a reflection of the adults in their lives.

So, before we start complaining about how children are behaving like ‘sampah masyarakat’ (society’s trash), know that it’s probably because the adults in the country behave like it too.

Coward: The PTA president missed the point of the exercise. If we follow their approach, it will be seen as punishment.

The aim was to foster a sense of cooperation and care for community facilities.

To start where they want it to start will reinforce the sense of punishment instead. I can understand them not wanting their children to wash the toilet.

Just grow a spine and say no. No need to try to sabotage the initiative.

MS: The utter thoughtlessness of the president of the PTA is now more than apparent. He managed to reduce what is mooted as a character-building move to one of punishment of the wicked.

This country which at one time exhorted the value and virtues of ‘gotong royong’ when everyone in the neighbourhood regardless of rank or riches volunteered to clean up their place, is now in the hands of imbecilic characters who waste no time influencing others from their ill-gotten positions.

How on earth the PTA selected this fellow is a question that demands an answer.

Anonymous 1092837465: Keeping toilets clean should not be a punishment but should rather be the responsibility of all students.

Some students might be naughty, but they might not be the ones who dirty the toilet.

“Good” students might be the ones dirtying the toilets. My suggestions:

1. Assign one toilet to each class.

2. Each toilet should be locked, and the toilet key held by a class monitor or class committee member.

3. Monitor or committee member records time and student’s name for each toilet use.

4. Prefect in charge to check and record toilet cleanliness right after recess.

5. School cleaner to hold the master key to all toilets.

6. School cleaners do spot checks on toilet cleanliness.

7. From the monitor’s record of toilet use, the student's identity who dirtied the toilet can be determined and action is taken appropriately.

With this, students might not have to wash toilets, but toilets can be kept clean. Less headache for the poor school cleaners too.

Children must be taught to be considerate towards school cleaners too.

Students will then think twice before dirtying the toilet. Higher chances of them appreciating clean toilets later in life.

lr: Cleaning school toilets, as highlighted by Anwar, is not meant to be a punishment for wrongdoing in school.

It is meant to instil in students virtues of cleanliness, patience, tolerance, mutual respect and humility, amongst others.

If it's used as a form of punishment, it defeats the purpose. Students should be assigned in groups (according to classes, or societies) to clean toilets at least once a fortnight.

RZee: Learning cleanliness and healthy lifestyles starts with teaching kids how to keep toilets clean from their childhood at home and in school.

It is not a punishment. Toilets in this country in some homes and all public places stink. Learn from Japan.

The toilets there are clean and if you go out you have to take your trash back home to throw it away. Must there be a stupid and senseless debate about this?

Add it to the curriculum and start teaching it now.

RedMarlin1833: There is nothing wrong with cleaning toilets. Our mindset must change. Agree with @RZee, just look at Japan, where cleanliness is their way of life, no matter where they are.

We will reach those standards someday, but we must start somewhere. - Mkini

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