I think most people are aware that in Japan students are responsible for cleaning schools. In Japan everyone is responsible for keeping the school clean! In this article, we will delve deeper into this subject.
There are usually no employees and sometimes even the school director helps in the care and maintenance of the College. This happens from elementary school to college, no matter if the school is public or private.
Osouji Jikan - Cleaning Time in Japanese Schools
In Japan this practice where students clean schools is called OSOUJI JIKAN [お掃除時間] which literally means cleaning time. During the first years of school, students eat in the classroom and then clean up together.
This tradition of teaching students to clean schools is so common that the Japanese find it strange to find that in schools in the West students do not clean.
Even in the school supply list there is an object called zokin (cloth) that frightens foreigners who are unaware of the custom of cleaning schools. Some foreigners even think that this is work and that students shouldn't do it.
At school, the student does not only study the subjects, but also learns to take care of what is public and to be a more conscious citizen! Nobody complains because it's always been that way. — Toshinori Saito
Facts about cleaning in schools in Japan
Students are often organized into groups and rotated so that everyone can do different tasks and that no one is left with the same task. In high school students are usually assigned to take care of a certain part of the school.
They clean practically everything at school, take care of the classroom, bathrooms, swimming pool, sports court, etc. In addition, they take care of the garden, crops and pets that exist in the schools. Students support schools!
Three times a year the students organize to do a neighborhood cleanup called chiiki seiso. In this cleaning, students go out to sweep and pick up the garbage in the neighborhood and around the school. The class is divided into huh (small groups), where each one is responsible for cleaning a certain area.
Every semester there is a general cleaning called osoji (big cleaning). The whole school got together to carry out a general cleaning to the accompaniment of a song. Older students are sometimes asked to help children clean the room.
Truths about Cleaning in Japanese Schools
Not everything is as the western news and newspapers say. I notice a lot of changed information regarding Japan's school cleaning system. First of all, not all schools are the same, so differences are common.
There are certain generalizations regarding this, but generally students clean the entire school, sometimes even clean the neighborhood and the school's surroundings with their parents. We will now see some lies and truths.
Is there no janitor in schools in Japan?
It's a lie, schools do have non-teaching staff called yomushuji or shuji. Primary school children cannot keep the 100% school clean, so there are people responsible for specific cleaning and maintenance.
Sometimes these employees also do other activities at the school, or are teachers and principals. Some schools even hire professional services to solve certain situations like painting and gardening.
Even so, students are responsible for much of the functioning and organization of schools. Some even take care of their own infirmary, medicate themselves and skip classes in these places pretending to be sick.
Do students clean school toilets in Japan?
In a way, yes, but some tasks are the responsibility of the shuji. Things are quite different in elementary and high school, not all students clean together on a daily basis.
Sometimes only a group of school students is responsible for cleaning the entire bathroom. No student questions something that is so common, although it's kind of obvious that it's not pleasant to wash toilets, especially clogged ones.
Are there no cafeterias in schools in Japan?
In many primary and elementary schools there are no cafeterias, but in some schools and high schools there are usually cafeterias.
Some schools have vending machines and sell meals, but the culture of bringing snacks from home and cleaning has not changed. Some schools even have rules on the type of food that can be consumed.
The artigo is still half finished, but we recommend opening it to read the following later:
Parents help clean up around the school
Japan has become famous around the world for students cleaning the school and taking care of their own meals. At school, the student does not only study the subjects, but also learns to take care of what is public and to be a more conscious citizen! Nobody complains because it always was.
We also mention that 3 times a year the students organize themselves to clean the neighborhood called chiiki seiso. In this cleaning, students go out to sweep and pick up the garbage in the neighborhood and around the school. What we don't point out is that even parents participate in events of this type.
Parents are invited to participate with their children in events such as cleaning the school's surroundings, especially before high school. I don't believe it's in every school, or that every parent is required to participate in this cleanup. Teachers were always supportive on most of these occasions.
The video below shows the event where parents and children clean up around the school:
The Caipira in Japan even mentioned that this attitude is a recipe for getting Brazil out of the mud. Making young people and adults respect the public patrimony is fundamental for the country to advance and progress. Something that unfortunately does not happen in Brazil. Japan is a true example in this regard!
This is not the only time parents participate in something at school, a very famous event that usually brings parents and children together is the undokai, a kind of gymkhana and sports competition between classes. Parents can also be present at the Bunkasai and at the school's entrance and graduation ceremonies.
Teachers also strive to create a good parent-child relationship through home visits and routine parent meetings. Unfortunately, not all parents make an effort to have a good relationship with their children, and not all schools are concerned about it.
Don't think that just because parents are present in the children's childhood at school, that things work 100%. There are many social and relationship problems, especially during school life.
Cleaning Position - Zoukingake
Children in Japan often perform cleaning in a position called zoukingake (雑巾掛け). They kneel and place both hands on the wet cloth, raising their hind ends so their torsos are at a 35 to 45 degree angle with the floor.
From an early age, children are educated to clean. This is something so normal and beneficial that nowadays even rich families don't usually pay maids. These were some curiosities about cleaning schools in Japan. Hope you like it, thanks for the comments and shares. xD
We also recommend reading: