India education system

Importance of Hygiene in the Indian Education System

Although the Indian educational system prioritizes health and hygiene, significant change is still required. With reopening and the exams around the corner, schools need to go beyond general hygiene practices because the pandemic has shown us how crucial hygiene is for our health. Schools can become a vehicle for infection transmission if they are not kept clean. 

A slew of school guidelines surfaced during and after the pandemic, but their implementation still has flaws. However, if we compare the current situation to the past, we can see how far things have progressed.   

I went with a friend to a charitable event held at a government school a few weeks ago, where his NGO (Sambhav Charitable Society) was donating stationery items. I noticed how the children kept their distance from one another. (It reminded me of my school days, when we three friends forcefully sat on a two-seated desk 😅, to show our trinity bond). Social distancing is essential, but it alone can’t help us, so there must be hygiene advancements in the Indian education system.  

Importance Of Hygiene in Schools  

During that event, I discussed the importance of hygiene in schools with the principal, and we both landed on the same page with different thoughts. The school principal explained the WASH initiative, which contains school disinfection guidelines, and made students aware of personal hygiene, making health and hygiene more critical for the education system in India. Also, she explained the SSHE (School Sanitation and Hygiene Education) initiative. School life serves as a foundation for one’s personal development; anything learned in school finds a home in one’s subconscious mind, contributing to the development of a prosperous society and nation. 

However, I focused more on transforming the complete education system of India with a perspective of hygiene.  

3 Reasons Why We Need a Change  

When it comes to schoolchildren, Japan is the best example. I brought the Japanese term “Gakko Soji” to our discussion, which is about cleaning of schools. Japanese students clean their school very seriously and make it a part of their daily routine. Do you recall how “Doraemon’s” Nobita and Shizuka 👪 used to clean their classroom at school 😅? That was “Gakko Soji” in action. The following are three reasons why, in order to achieve hygiene, we need a significant change in the Indian education system. 

Reason #1: To Make Schools a Hygienic and Safe Place  

The first and most fundamental reason is to make schools a proper hygienic and safe environment for children, ensuring that they do not come into contact with any infections or diseases. 

Reason #2: To Develop Hygiene Habits at Individual Level  

The housekeeping staff can clean schools, but it is crucial to let kids know the value of cleanliness and hygiene. Take Japan, for example, where the educational system believes that micro-habits learned in school shape children’s personalities throughout their lives. You can see how the Japanese live their lives in a balanced, punctual, hygienic, and dedicated manner. 

Reason #3: To Build a Safe Zone for The Whole Society   

When we all take responsibility, we create a hygienic and safe environment for the entire society. Everything starts at the individual level. Individuals who learn the importance of hygiene in school grow up to be responsible citizens who pay attention to hygiene in all aspects of their lives. 

What Changes Indian Education System Needs?  

We can replicate the activities Japanese schools are carrying to make sure our kids learn the same. Also, we can go beyond what the Japanese education system achieved (Seems difficult, but not unachievable😎) with the following actions.  

Make It the Part of Study  

We need to teach students hygiene practices as part of their studies, just as we teach them the basics of everything from science to mathematics. Listening to this, the principal explained how they teach students about personal hygiene, but I was talking about something different. The following are some mannerisms that need to be inculcated in the Indian educational system.  

➢Toilet Manners  

Students must learn how to use a toilet appropriately. Various toilet etiquettes will keep school toilets clean.   

➢Personal Hygiene  

Most schools teach kids personal hygiene, but after the pandemic, these habits have changed a bit, so students must be taught proper personal hygiene habits like using hand sanitizer, covering the mouth while coughing or sneezing, and using a face mask.  

➢Know The Difference  

What’s the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection? Even adults can fail to explain it, so it is essential to educate our kids about it. The more they know about the different procedures, the more they will develop habits appropriately.  

➢Resources Required   

Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection cannot be carried without valuable resources. Therefore, students must be taught about sanitizers, disinfection products, and safety equipment one needs to use during activities like “Gakko Soji.”   

➢Science Behind Products  

Because of the various methods used to manufacture them, different sanitizing and disinfecting products have different results, side effects, and so on. Alcohol-based based sanitizers can bring health risks for students, so alcohol-free products are preferred. Students and teachers must understand the science behind a product in order to determine which one is a natural sanitizer. 

Role Of Teachers & Parents  

Teachers and parents are always playing an important role, and the same implies in hygiene habits. Following are some activities where teachers and parents will contribute.   

➢Implementing Practically  

Teachers need to ensure that they involve students in activities like Gakko Soji in the school. Likewise, parents can support the school by implementing the same at home.  

➢Monitor The Personal Space  

Teachers must help students monitor their personal space to find aspects that can cause health risks. It can include activities like monitoring toilets to figure out dead zones 

➢Fun Activities  

Fun activities can embed hygiene habits in the subconscious mind of kids very firmly, so teachers must need to focus on it.   


If there are practical exams about hygiene practices and grades being rewarded by the teachers, students and parents will take it very seriously, so why not add one to the school syllabus?   

Impact Of Hygiene on Student’s Health  

Hygiene is important because it impacts our health. A study on school students published in IJCMPH (International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health) says that more than 86% of students failed to correctly demonstrate the basic handwashing procedure. The same study implies that the lack of awareness of personal hygiene is the reason behind the poor health of kids.  

The school principal agreed to bring all these changes to ensure proper hygiene 😊; on the other hand, my social worker friend gave the nod 👍 to help her achieve this. However, it is impossible to embed in-depth hygiene education in the study material without the government’s concern, but teachers can still help students with practical activities.

Pankaj Rai

5 thoughts on “Importance of Hygiene in the Indian Education System”
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