Whenever you walk into a place, the first thing that strikes you is how clean or unclean it is. It is rightly said that your surroundings can affect your mood, confidence and behaviour. If a place is tidy, you feel good, but if not, it will gradually depress you.

The same applies to one’s school. No one would like going to a school that is untidy, messy and undisciplined. If I talk about my school, it is one of the best schools in the city, with excellent teachers, interesting activities that teach us to be smart and competitive.

Despite all the goodness, one thing that I would like to change in my school is to make it cleaner and more environment-friendly. It is mostly a clean place, but there is always room for improvement.

Our bathrooms are right next to the playground and that is why they get dirty with dust. Moreover, children enter with dirty shoes, making the floor messy not only because of the mud, but also because of the water they spill.

I have also noticed that some kids leave the taps open while the water flows out of stalls, causing the floor to be dangerously slippery. Since there is no drain in the washroom, the cleaners have to mop it up.

There is an issue with my classmates which I am sure is a universal problem. Children throw wrappers on the floor and do not mind the litter lying around. Although there is a trash can near the door, children only throw things that are absolutely essential like plates of leftover food, empty soft drink cans into it. These actions not only leave a bad impression of the entire school, but also show the lack of manners in students.

We go to school to get education — which is not only about learning how to read and write or world history, science, etc. — you also learn personal grooming, good manners, how to behave in a group, respect for elders and classmates, and, among other things, keeping the school and our surroundings clean.

We children need to learn a great deal of manners and about saving the resources of our country. For instance, we must use water in a responsible way by not leaving the taps open while washing or brushing and use a bucket of water for taking a bath instead of using a shower. We must switch off lights while going out of a room and turn off all electric gadgets when not in use.

Always have a suitable floor mat at the entrance of the bathroom and the main entrance of the house to ensure that kids with muddy shoes dust off their shoes before entering.

In the classroom, there should be “No litter in the classroom,” sign and anyone who does not follow that should be fined. The fine should not be monetary; it should instead be a ban from the sports class, or having to eat your lunch inside the class during recess. If a child is still adamant, then there should be a punishment of not letting them go on school trips.

I realise that it is very easy to say things and difficult to actually do them. Therefore, I will start with myself. I will make sure that I use the trash can and always wipe my feet before entering washrooms. I will also tell all of my friends to do the same. I am sure that many kids will soon observe such behaviour and follow us.

I will also request my teachers that there should be grass and lots of plants in our playground. This will have two results, the air will be cleaner and so will the floors of the school, especially that of the washrooms.

These little actions can leave big impressions. In the end, I would like everyone to remember that if we want to make the world a better place to live in, we should not only keep our homes clean, but also our schools and surroundings.

Published in Dawn, Young World, April 13th, 2019