While scrolling through my Facebook feeds, I was totally taken aback by one of the posts that demonstrated how little kids in Japan have to wash their School washrooms and toilets.
Since I was the sole person on Facebook to condemn this “Brutal” Japanese convention, I received a lot of flaks from my otherwise learned friends.
They used some of the adjectives like, “myopic”, “narrow-minded” and many more, but my entire objection was valid and rational.
Read Here Why I am Opposed to This Japan’s Cruelest Culture
It Happens Only In Japan
We, Indians, have a habit of emulating what others are doing not putting enough effort to realize whether the same is rationally good or bad.
As a concerned citizen of this world, I couldn’t lip-sync to others’ feeling of “so good” about this Japanese convention. Recently, a media house asked a Japanese student that how she felt about it and she said, “Bathroom duty is the worst“.
Well, to be honest, no child can like it either. Their task is to learn well and understand human values but that doesn’t mean they should expose them to harmful bacteria and virus – often found in toilets and commodes. And they do all these sans any supervisors!
Kids Cleaning Toilets in Japan is Inherently Bad
1) Kids’ immune system isn’t stronger; the harmful bacteria at school toilets could invade their bodies.
2) They waste a lot of time doing these. Instead, they should play outdoors or participate in meditation classes to understand human values.
3) In the name of discipline and human values, Schools get their bathrooms and toilets cleaned without investing a buck.
4) Many children might be unaware of the proper usage of chemicals and other disinfectants that are commonly used for sanitation purposes. Any misuse could be extremely harmful to them.
5) Many parents are literally not convinced how cleaning “dirty” school toilets will disseminate ‘correct human values’ among them.
6) There are thousands of other activities to teach positive things to them. No doubt, getting school bathrooms and toilets washed by little hands is a heartless activity per se!
7) Many Kids participate in these activities with bare-foot and without hand-gloves, which could risk their health.
8) Who will take responsibility if a little kid falls down while washing a school bathroom?
A report published in JapanTimes clearly said that cleaning duty includes a lot of tasks including scrubbing, dusting and sweeping but varies from schools to schools.
Some schools definitely get their toilets, kitchens, and classrooms cleaned by little kids in a clandestine manner – literally free of cost!
Why is Japan Wrong?
This ancient practice (Gakko Soji) has its roots ingrained in Buddhist teachings that emphasized cleanliness around us.
However, cleaning duty in Japanese schools is already stained due to their parochial thoughts and inherent resistance to accept modernity and go beyond traditions.
Definitely, there is an element of “child labor” and ‘child abuse’ inherently attached to this ‘controversial’ Japanese school culture.
By making it mandatory in a few schools, many little children have to participate in these activities without their consents. The primary aim of any school is to educate kids and socialize them with other kids.
Between Japan ’s School Cleaning Culture and Rationality: The Middle Path
Cleaning bathrooms, toilets, lavatories, and potholes is necessary, but that doesn’t mean little kids should do all these. It could endanger their lives!
1) School kids should wash their bathrooms and toilets under the guidance of their parents.
2) Schools must schedule such cleanliness sessions only once a month.
3) No kids should be forced to participate in such an activity without their wishes.
4) Children and kids must get gifts like toffees, and toys for their effort from the school authority.
5) Schools Must provide Proper support like hand gloves, socks and face masks to Kids on cleaning duty.
6) Schools must reduce fees for these kids.
My Expert View on This Awful Tradition of Japan
School Kids should not just obey their schools but must also learn to question wherever necessary. Being obedient and submissive is good, but eventually, developing a scientific temper of mind is more important.
In a nutshell, “School Cleaning Culture” in Japan is ruthless, merciless and inhumane. It has to go someday for sure. Any civilized and rational society where human values hold paramount importance can’t adhere to such brutal tradition.
(By: Atish Home Chowdhury)
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