Cleaning up mandatory for students of all Singapore schools from January

Cleaning up mandatory for students of all Singapore schools from January

The Ministry of Education has announced compulsory cleaning up for students of Singapore schools from January onwards. Read on...

As part of its endeavour to help children develop good habits, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has announced that all students from primary school to junior college will have to take part in daily cleaning activities in their schools from January next year.

According to The Straits Times, schools can choose the type and time slots for these daily cleaning activities, which include cleaning up of classrooms, canteens and corridors.

Why it works

Here is why the move has been applauded by one and all:

  • It helps pupils develop good life long values.
  • It shows them how to be organised from early on in life. They can discuss storage ideas and identify areas for improvement. They feel a sense of ownership and it gives them greater pride in their work.
  • They understand that cleaning up is not easy, hence they start respecting the cleaners more.
  • Also, in cleaning manpower starved Singapore, the move is a wise one, as it reduces dependence on cleaners. Countries like Japan and Taiwan have already implemented this move to great success.
  • All children, regardless of their wealth and social status have to participate, so it inculcates a feeling of sameness, and builds character in the students, and keeps them grounded.
  • Children who get used to cleaning up in school will tend to clean up after themselves at home too, leading to happier and more relaxed parents.


Other feedback

Some parents have their apprehensions too. One parent apparently feels that this additional activity would lead to the child being more tired than usual and losing focus in studies.

Nisa Abdul, whose son will go to Primary 2 next year seemed a bit surprised, exclaiming, "Wait, they're not already doing it? I did this as a student!"

Jalan Besar GRC MP Denise Phua, who heads the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education, said, "It is important to ensure that this cleaning activity is not the latest flavour of the month and will remain a habit for life."

Go to the next page for ways to teach your kids to clean up at home!

Meanwhile, here are some ways to get the kids to clean up after themselves at home:

  • Set a good example: Be the change that you wish to see in your kids. Children should be able to see cleaning up as something normal and routine, and not something parents do when they are expecting guests home for dinner.
  • Allow room for experimentation: Allow the kids the freedom to organise their stuff and rearrange the furniture if necessary. It gives them greater pride in their work.


  • Make a checklist: Split up complex tasks into smaller bite-sized chunks, easy enough for the little ones to understand. So 'clean up your room' could be broken up into 'make your bed', 'put laundry into basket' etc.
  • Make cleaning up fun: Avoid complaining when cleaning up, it only adds negativity to the process. Whenever possible, do chores together, maybe even add some zing with fun, energising music.

Also READ: Clean up tips for kids

(Source: The Straits Times)

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