- September 8, 2020
- Posted by: Brad Nicholson
- Category: Blog
The global pandemic (COVID19) has been affecting and changing the dynamics of all the industries globally and there is no exemption to the education industry too. During the COVID19 lockdown, life has become very difficult for both parents and children. Everybody should be aware of the basic and age-based information about coronavirus disease. We should follow the guidelines issued by reputable organizations such as WHO, UNICEF, ICMR, and more to learn about valid and trustworthy information about the virus rather than believing false news from online sources. WHO released a checklist for students & children with the following points.
- Don’t feel alone, communicate with your trustworthy people like parents and teachers to know about situations which helps you to keep yourself healthy.
- Protect yourself and others by following the precautions such as washing your hands on a regular basis, and not touching your face.
- Inform your parents, caretakers, or teachers about your health condition.
In addition to this, WHO also released age-specific health education for students with more specific suggestions on how to engage students of different ages on preventing and controlling coronavirus. Here are the safety measures for schools and parents while students going back to school.
General safety measures
- People should follow WHO recommendations during a pandemic at all times.
- People need to stop greeting each other with physical contacts (such as shaking hands, hugs).
- People should stop sharing physical items such as books, pencils, pens, bags, etc.
- It’s better to bring your own food (homemade food) rather than restaurant food, and also need to stop food sharing.
Back to Schools
Slowly countries across the world are opening schools in a phased manner. Some countries (nearly 55) are starting to reopen their schools by taking necessary precautionary steps. As per UNICEF reports, worldwide more than 1 billion students are out of school due to lockdowns. Around 105 countries (78 %) have decided on reopening schools and are finalizing the dates soon. The situations and conditions are different from country to country, so respective governments or authorities will take appropriate decisions on reopening schools after considering risk factors in their places. Here is the most common question for parents, schools, students, and teachers.
Is it safe for children to go back to school?
Generally, schools are not opening in all countries at a time. Countries are making decisions by considering many factors such as public health responses, recovery rate, death rate, isolation zones, containment zones, and many other factors. It’s crucial for schools to plan and consider precautionary measures to ensure the safety of students, parents, teachers, and staff when they return to school. There is a possibility that schools may reopen for a certain period of time and reconsider their decision based on the consequences, and they may close again temporarily depending on the local factors.
Safety Measures for Schools
- Improve hygiene measures (such as handwashing, respiratory etiquette), cleaning measures, and physical distancing measures.
- Divide the lunchtime between classes. Don’t allow all classes at a time.
- It’s better to move classes to temporary spaces or outdoors to avoid respiratory issues.
- It’s better to conduct different shifts for students to reduce the class strength.
- Higher focus on school transportation safety with real-time tracking, regular sanitization, and fixed seating with video monitoring.
- Some facilities such as school grounds, libraries, laboratories need to be closed.
- Tissues need to be provided for students & teachers to comply with cough & sneeze.
- Classrooms and school surroundings need to be cleaned daily.
- Make sure all students and teachers are wearing face covers.
Are your children struggling to go back to school mode?
Parents should be aware that children will be stressed due to the ongoing health crisis in the society, and they need to support and nurture them positively by answering all their questions. Help your children do their regular tasks/activities and make them feel happy by involving them in multiple activities such as games, family entertainment activities, cooking, gardening. Discuss with other parents to share experiences, tips to motivate children to go back to school mode. And parents need to take some precautionary measures while sending children back to schools during COVID19.
Safety Measures for Parents
- Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like mobiles, doors, switches, and kitchen items.
- Regularly sanitize all corners of the home.
- Maintain multiple cloth face masks available for your child. Provide your child with a clean mask and back-up mask each day and a clean it daily.
- Educate your child, they should clean their hands before and after touching their mask.
- Guide your child to never share or trade masks with others.
- Explain to your child about the importance of wearing a face mask.