Now, we don't have "cleaning time" in schools in the UK. Instead we hire cleaners who clean the school outside of standard hours. In Japan, every staff member and student is a cleaner at a certain time of every day. It is infact scheduled into everyone's timetable. Everyone dons bandana's and grabs a broom, duster or cloth, and gets to work on their classrooms, homerooms, the toilets, etc. Perhaps it is because there is no UK equivalent to this that I find it so surprisingly fascinating to see (and join) everyone scurrying around to and fro, doing their bit.
I learnt that cleaning time is usually after 5th or 6th period every day, but as today was the first day back, an extra cleaning time was slotted into the morning schedule. What I struck me most was the students' willingness - or lack of reluctance? - to involve themselves in this activity. Everyone works together as a team. This is how they do everything in Japan.