In the wake of COVID-19, the schools have been shut since March 20 due to the nation-wide lockdown which was immediately imposed. Children have been attending online classes through various platforms and now that the academic year has almost come to an end, the government is deciding on re-opening the schools. This is a matter of serious contemplation for schools and parents. On one thought, the risk of Coronavirus is yet not over and the hounding experience of so many people still suffering in the country discourages them to do so. Also, there is a huge responsibility at the school’s end to take complete care of students and to make massive changes in their regular regime of conducting classes, especially for junior students.
On the other hand, there has been a huge loss in all aspects, whether it is about academic growth, emotional growth, physical growth, and even financial growth of the school, 2020 has been very unkind and tough on all the stakeholders. To curb these challenges that have been faced throughout the year, it is highly recommended to restart normal school life and to take stringent precautions to avoid the disease. Some of the best schools in Aurangabad have already taken the decision and won’t waiver from it.
How to stay safe at school for students?
∙ If students do go back to school, classrooms will likely look much different than they used to.
∙ It is of utmost importance for any child to follow the public health rules and regulations, including state, local, and school mandates, which will reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
∙ Some general public health guidelines apply to schools, as well:
∙ Children should wear masks outside when they are in groups or lines and indoors at all times
∙ They must learn to sneeze, yawn or cough into their elbow
∙ They must take proper care of their health and hygiene and learn to wash their hands with soap and water frequently or use hand sanitizer.
∙ Children must always carry cleaner or antimicrobial wipes which they can use to wipe surfaces that are frequently used by others.
∙ They must stay far from people and maintain safe social and physical distancing
∙ If they feel sick, they must report to the authorities and their parents immediately.
There are various issues regarding physical distancing that the school authorities may face. To combat these challenges, the schools also need to take a few precautions like:
∙ Schools must stagger pick-up and drop-off keeping their transport facilities clean and hygienic. According to the Aurangabad school news, schools must make it a mandate for children to leave the next seat empty while sitting on the school transport vehicle and to constantly use a hand sanitizer and wear a mask.
∙ The children must be spread in alternate times and groups if there is a need to get them together in open spaces such as the auditorium
∙ Schools must encourage children to get homemade foods and avoid the need for them to visit the cafeteria. Even if the children would want to visit the food counter, the school must maintain discipline on this and promote smaller groups at all times which should be well supervised.
∙ Schools must create physical barriers and one child on one bench regime within classrooms as social distancing in schools remains an impossibility.
What should parents do?
∙ Teaching good hygiene habits should begin at home and it should be the responsibility of parents to guide and mentor their children on how to tackle the reopening of schools.
∙ Parents must help their children pack their bags and make sure they carry a sanitizer, mask, wipes, and other necessary supplies with them to school.
∙ Counsel their children and help them understand the repercussions of careless attitude. They should ask them if they feel safe going to school or not.
∙ Parents must read all circulars, emails, or notifications that the school sends and take advantage of any program or input arranged by the school.
∙ Parents must reinforce good hygiene habits within their children at home to help them remain consistent at school.
Challenges of not opening schools
∙ If after a serious lag of almost one year, the schools still don’t reopen, there could be serious implications like:
∙ If schools don’t reopen, families with two working parents will either have to leave their jobs or hire people to take care of their children.
∙ The children will again have to forego the dynamic social interactions that they can only get in school
∙ It could be emotionally traumatic for the children and the mental health of a child could be affected staying at home.
∙ The physical movement won’t be explored and the activities that a child can only perform in school like sports cannot be entertained at home
∙ The syllabus and academic pressure will be excessively high and unbearable for the child when he re-joins school in the next term. It will be difficult for him to cope with the stress.
It is highly recommended to get life back to normal for children as well. Businesses, malls, and cinemas have started. So why should the education system for children lag? Children must interact socially, be physically active and sharpen their brains with constant learning.