Sunday, August 19, 2007

School cleaning

I wonder how many people would turn up in New Zealand if you informed parents that on one Sunday in the school holidays there would be cleaning of the school grounds - beginning at 7am..... That is what we had today and every single child and at least one parent from every household attended - armed with their weed-eaters, digging utensils and gloves.
One of the big differences between NZ and Japan schools is the maintenance of the school and the school grounds. Unlike in NZ, here there are no school cleaners and no caretakers for the grounds. The cleaning of the inside of the school is done by the students every day after lunch and the grounds are usually maintained by staff members who have some free time - the vice-principal seems to spend more time on the end of a weed-eater than a pencil.... The grounds here are predominantely dirt.... no grass to be seen. This is one thing I find difficult, but the kids here seem to be able to play happily enough without the comfort of nice soft grass.
Of course some of the schools in other areas may operate differently, but here in my little town that is how things are done. This way of doing things definately makes the children more aware of the mess they are making, as they know there will be no after-hours cleaner come to clean it up for them, and of course it is one way to get to know the other parents at the school. I can think of better ways, but......

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