COVID-19 has overnight changed the world. We have gone from living our everyday lives to being filled with news, disputes, and odd info. But whatever confounding news that flashes on our screens, we need to do our part to protect the environment. While we do our best not to add our share to the communal load, it is undeniable that life has to go one way or the other. It is a slow but, ultimately, necessary process.
A big part of the process is making children back to school. If you are part of a school system that has decided to reopen for the next semester, you have to take certain precautions. Below, in the context of COVID-19, we will discuss the different risks, remedies, and goals of a proper school protocol.
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Teachers and faculty are having plenty to deal with. The virus seems like an uphill struggle, on top of all the other things that they have to think about. We already expect too much from our instructors. Regardless of this, we need to make health certifications as simple as humanly possible, while also being comprehensive and accurate. With such certifications, teachers will be trained without wasting endless hours attempting to fit their busy lives into an encyclopedia worth of information.
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The next move is to build an acceptable indoor environment. This is where things begin to get a little bit regimented. Classrooms, as defined by local health authorities, need to be updated and adjusted to new standards. That is not a complete redesign, perse. It basically means that certain distancing and activity changes need to be implemented. When it comes to younger students the biggest challenge with this is.
Teachers have the most experience when it comes to how students act in the classroom and should have a seat at the decision-making table. More than anybody else, they’ll know how their students behave and react to these kinds of guidelines.
Most schools have outdoor sports facilities. Ideally, this will be a safe place for a class to meet. During the warmer months, it could be difficult, particularly in historically hotter areas. If sufficient shade can be given, and cooling mechanisms are available, the very best choice to date could be to teach outside. Since everyone is socially remote, space maximization is second only to personal hygiene and precaution. This is not recommended if there’s a high incidence of heatstroke in your city. So if you’re living in a temperate area where it doesn’t fluctuate too badly, some classes outside might be a good idea.
To maintain said distancing protocols, it’s a smart idea for your school to only have a small number of students on campus, and the rest online at home. A series of groupings can be distributed during the week so that each student gets physically on campus a certain number of days a month. With that said, classes in-person will not be compulsory unless it is enforced by the local authority. If not, then parents and/or guardians should be given the choice. If there is ample support in school classrooms to explain it, then that kind of revolving program can be placed in place properly.
Kids will be kids. It is a good idea therefore to implement strict personal hygiene guidelines early. It is especially true when we are working with children from grade schools. Frequent washing of the hand should be standardized. Washing stations should be set up at the exits, if at all necessary. Rubbing alcohol can be substituted if hand washing stations are not feasible.
Note, rubbing alcohol may destroy bacteria, but they can still be immunologically reactive if not cleaned off. Alcohol is not killing viruses, either. Because of this, handwashing stations are expected to be a priority and a secondary protection against rubbing alcohol.
There is a major controversy in Pakistan, about whether or not masks should be introduced in public schools. Private schools have the ability to have their practices applied. On the other hand, public schools are subject to the guidelines of the department of education. It is highly recommended to wear a mask, due to the nature of this pandemic. The mask is an effective means of stopping any respiratory illness from spreading.
As far as the older students are concerned, one might run into the question of the political views surrounding masks. Just reason out the need as much as possible. In comparison, Grade School kids are much easier to convince. Only imagine wearing a crazy ninja mask while learning to spell? Imagine being able to defend yourself while being Batman in character. With younger kids, the “friendly” element can be promoted even more successfully.
Now than ever, the safety policies of the school will be more comprehensive than ever before. Many of us know the nurse at the school and the care they offer. Due to the nature of COVID-19, the school nurses need to be actively trained and provided with the tools to operate. Proper referral schemes, preliminary examinations, and quarters of isolation must be a new feature of the school health program. Furthermore, the school is not to be turned into a COVID facility of full size. But at the very least, there must be the opportunity to contact local health facilities, identify possible positives, and give the guardians of a future COVID patient a straightforward guide and message.
We have to get all our bases covered when it comes to COVID-19. When students are expected to return to school, we will ensure that we mitigate the pandemic danger inside that community. It may be complicated but it’s not impossible. It simply requires some good preparation, some professional know-how, and much patience. We are finally going to get through this. But it is time to train up to then. Stay safe out there, guys!