Students take charge of cleanliness with launch of Keep Singapore Clean Movement

Chitra Kumar Channel NewsAsia 29 Jul 14;

SINGAPORE: The Keep Singapore Clean Movement in schools was launched on Tuesday (July 29), to get students to take ownership of the cleanliness of their school and the environment. The initiative was first announced at the 7th Teachers' Conference in June, and requires students to help keep the places they frequent clean.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, who launched the movement today, said many parents had urged him to bring back the 'Use Your Hands' campaign to schools.

"These student-initiated activities are a very important aspect of encouraging them to take ownership of the community. We hope that through student-initiated activities, the values that underpin this will be much more deeply internalised and at the same time, we can tap the creativity and ideas of the students to be advocates of cleanliness and environment protection," said Mr Heng.

The Education Minister also joined Secondary Three students at Woodgrove Secondary School to scrub the boys' toilet today.

Earlier this month, these students conducted surveys around the school to gather information about the cleanliness situation in the neighbourhood. They shared their findings today and brainstormed ideas on how to have a more pleasant living environment.

The Public Hygiene Council will support schools by providing necessary resources such as this litter-picking toolkit containing tongs and gloves. The Keep Singapore Clean movement will be rolled out to all primary, secondary, centralised institutes and junior colleges.

"I believe that we should start young because from young, we can inculcate the values of responsibility and care towards the environment. So from here, we can spread the message of the importance of maintaining cleanliness in Singapore to our friends and family," said Haziq Shukur, Green Club President at Woodgrove Secondary School.

- CNA/by

Students encouraged to keep schools, environment clean
Channel NewsAsia 29 Jul 14;
SINGAPORE: Education Minister Heng Swee Keat kicked off the Keep Singapore Clean Movement in Schools by saying that students here can become role models and advocates of a clean Singapore to the people around them.

Mr Heng was speaking at Woodgrove Secondary School on Tuesday (July 29) at the launch of the programme, which will see students having the opportunity to propose ideas to keep the school and neighbourhood clean, put their ideas into action and carry them out on a sustained basis.

Through this initiative, students can take ownership of the places they frequent - such as the classroom, the school compound and the common areas in the neighbourhood - by keeping them clean, according to a joint statement by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Public Hygiene Council (PHC).

Several schools already have students adopting spaces within their compounds to keep clean. For example, Marsiling Primary School students are responsible for their classrooms and the school's common areas, while Damai Secondary School have adopted public waterways as theirs to maintain.

Mr Heng said: "Through the Keep Singapore Clean Movement in Schools, students can learn to take ownership of our community spaces and our Singapore. Students can become role models and advocates of a clean Singapore to their classmates, family members and people in the community.

"It will help our students develop empathy and responsibility, a sense of belonging and commitment to the community, and a deep understanding of our interdependence."


The Movement is organised in partnership with the PHC, which will support schools by providing various resources, such as litter-picking toolkits, and advice on areas that could be potential littering hotspots.

In 2015, the PHC will also provide every Primary 4 student a checklist to reflect on their habits and how these affect the cleanliness of the environment. Every Primary 5 student will be given a postcard to write to their Primary 1 to Primary 4 juniors, encouraging them to practise good habits and cleanliness.

Said PHC Chairman Liak Teng Lit: “Keeping Singapore clean requires a concerted effort from all. With the strong support from the students and their parents, I believe we are a step closer to being a truly clean Singapore, not just a cleaned one.”

- CNA/kk