We all know that schools are some of the places most likely to get dirty fast, yet they need to be kept clean to reduce the spread of diseases and infections among the vulnerable children that inhabit them. School administrators are therefore in a constant battle to keep their schools clean even as students get up to new antics each day that result in an even dirtier school compound. Here are a few ways to keep things manageable in terms of school cleaning and making the school a clean and healthy environment for everyone.
Make the students pitch in
In some countries, like Japan, students routinely stay back after school to help keep the school clean. They are assigned chores such as cleaning the bathroom or the classrooms, and these chores are rotated weekly according to a roster. As a result, very few Japanese schools have janitors. Students are also more inclined to refrain from dirtying the school compound if they know that they are the ones who have to clean it up afterwards. This is probably the best way to reduce mess intentionally caused by student pranksters, as the hefty amount of cleaning up they will have to do tends to work as a deterrent. This also has the added benefit of helping students bond, and teaches them life skills that will serve them well in future.
Invest in commercial cleaning equipment
The sheer population and size of a school means that investing in some commercial cleaning equipment is actually worthwhile. Students get into scrapes and create mess on a quasi-daily basis, so having heavy-duty cleaning equipment around makes the job easier for whoever is in charge of cleaning. Commercial cleaning equipment may be the most cost-effective way of dealing with younger students and their frequent bathroom accidents as well.
Often, these machines perform multiple functions in less time than it takes a human to do so, thus reducing the amount of class disruption and time wasted on cleaning. Such equipment is also useful for periodic deep cleanings, such as the steaming of carpets to ensure that no mites thrive. These days, a significant population of children has some kind of allergy, and keeping the school environment clean is but one way of ensuring that their allergies do not flare up at inconvenient moments. Commercial cleaning equipment goes one level further and helps to keep allergens and dust mites at bay. The parents of these students will appreciate your decision to invest in such equipment.
Implement rules and regulations on dealing with waste and mess
Starting a recycling program in school can be great fun for the students, as they learn about the ecosystem and recycling. From a cleaning perspective, this helps to cut down the amount of waste generated, and also reduces the amount of mess as students and staff alike actively participate in sorting out their waste instead of just leaving it around. Waste from the cafeteria can be composted and used to fertilize the school science garden for example, in an initiative that is both educational and practical. At times, it may also be helpful to use both the carrot and the stick.
With the right amount of disincentives and incentives, students and staff will be motivated to keep their personal spaces clean, and refrain from littering or messing up public areas. Litter-picking events can also be held as a competition, to inculcate good habits in students as well as keep the school reasonably clean. Education goes a long way too. Teach students the importance of cleanliness, and help them put this knowledge into practice within the school compound by giving them opportunities to take part in cleaning activities as well as initiate projects to promote a clean environment in school.
Hire school cleaners on a regular basis
Professionals are probably your best bet on maintaining a clean, germ-free environment for your students. Even getting a cleaner to come in and deep clean once a month goes a long way in keeping your school in tip-top condition, even if you don't have a cleaning team on site regularly. Students' antics such as science lab shenanigans, may also present a cleaning challenge as some of these substance cannot be cleaned with standard household cleaning agents. Industrial strength cleaning tools might be needed in some cases.
Cleaning expertise may also be needed to deal with some of the unimaginable messes that students manage to create ever so often. Consult a cleaning company to see what options they offer for your school. Assess your need as well - do you need a regular team of cleaners to be on site constantly, or is a periodic deep cleaning sufficient? Your cleaning company will be able to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision that is both financially friendly and effective in helping you maintain a sanitary school environment.