High quality maintenance of school grounds is a crucial component in lowering absenteeism, promoting productivity and setting a good example of hygiene standards for future generations.
Although cleanliness in the school grounds may not take precedence over teaching or support, as an enabler of healthy learning environments, it certainly requires careful consideration. Research carried out by the American Medical Association found that young children catch about eight colds a year and can lose nearly 22 million school days combined due to the common cold alone. With children constantly in close proximity in the school grounds, keeping classrooms and common areas well looked after is vital to the health and welfare of the students, faculty and staff members.
The best way to keep schools in good shape is to consider specialist cleaning services with experience dealing with educational establishments. However, responsibilities over the cleanliness of the school should be democratised to ensure its proper upkeep, which means that everyone from the teacher to the parent and their child should take care to mitigate the spread of germs. Some 92 per cent of teachers that took part in the US study say that regular disinfecting in classrooms can result in fewer absences caused by illness and 96 per cent of them believe more can be done to make classrooms cleaner and healthier places for children.
At home, parents can take a proactive approach to their child’s welfare by asking them to wash their hands frequently throughout the day or use disinfectant to wipe down equipment before use. It is also a good idea to make sure that sufficient procedures are being implemented in the class and throughout the school. Here’s some reasons why.
Unless proper care is undertaken, schools can become a harbourer of germs which can be spread from one pupil to the next with the greatest of ease. Research done at the University of Arizona found that desk surfaces, computer keyboards, and computer mouses ranked high in levels of five bacteria, with E. coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Streptococcus, Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus all found to nestle on work surfaces.
The school canteen, toilets and communal areas can also pick up and spread germs in school, and a proactive approach to the upkeep of these areas is crucial in ensuring pupils are not missing out on their education through days off sick.
A clean learning environment is a more productive one, and if classrooms are well organised and comfortable, children are more likely to learn. Students do not want to learn in an environment that is dirty and cluttered, so ensure they are in spaces which are conducive to learning and which will make children more willing to attend classes.
Promoting good values
Keeping the school clean and tidy will encourage children to do likewise in the classroom and at home. As role models, teachers and assistants should also be seen to be taking a proactive role in keeping the school in good condition, and it may even be worth thinking about educating children on green cleaning techniques, which will inform them of their duties in maintaining the environment.