Araura primary school principal Retire Puapii said they had introduced singing – “happy birthday to you” – while students washed their hands, to keep them cheerful and remind them how long they needed to scrub with soap.
“The kids love singing, they all know the birthday song, and the jingle works out to about seven seconds which is enough time to complete the routine.”
Apii Araura began their health routine at the start of the school year, but with the coronavirus outbreak they have further emphasises the importance of clean hands.
“We purchased a wash basin and more soap as we want the kids to keep up good habits and take care of themselves,” said Puapii.
At Mangaia school, principal Mike Papatua said students were encouraged to wash their hands regularly to maintain hygiene practices.
Mark Harris, principal of Apii Te Uki Ou, said it was important for their school to emphasise hygiene immediately.
Handwashing with liquid soap would be done every morning before students begin class, as well as a daily wipe-down of surfaces with an antibacterial cleaner.
Other measures include modelling how to cover sneezes and coughs, not sharing drink bottles and not drinking direct from the tap.