The media has recently been reporting on complaints from school cleaners about their conditions of work and pay. While I am not in a position to comment specifically on the pros and cons of the issues that concern the cleaners, I wish to assert that no employee should be paid below the legal minimum wage or below what their contract of employment provides for.
Furthermore, I do think that we as concerned citizens might usefully engage in some public discussion on the educational, moral, civic and character-building aspects of the inherent responsibilities for a clean, ambient school environment. For example: is there a case for some return to the ‘good old days’ when teachers and students accepted and were held accountable for the cleanliness of the schools and the school yards?
Isn’t there some genuine, long-lasting, character-development benefit that can flow from inculcating among our students their inherent responsibility for their immediate and extended environment? Let us think of all the positive ripple effects such a shift in our thinking might have on the larger issues of civic and community responsibilities. I do believe that such paradigm shifts can truly redound to all our collective good.