Even with Unlock – 4 guidelines, the education sector has not been viz-a-viz NEW NORMALS. We all can guess it won’t happen so soon, safety of children being the topmost concern. Ensuring the safety of children is one of the biggest challenges in the current scenario. Until or unless we all feel ourselves prepared enough to meet the safety measures, it is not likely and not advisable to open the schools.
The HRD ministry is preparing standard protocols on safety, social distancing and hygiene on school campuses along with online education amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Since, in India, the number of daily new cases and daily deaths haven’t started declining, it is dicey situation for reopening of schools.
The following are among the suggestions that the school management and faculty need to look into before the reopening of schools against the backdrop of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
- Schools would open for limited hours and in shifts. For that, classes should be divided into groups and these groups should be called separately.
- Breaks would be provided to different classes at a different time and teachers need to ensure that these rules are abided by and distancing is followed strictly.
- After every session, proper sanitisation of classes and corridors is to be made mandatory.
- Morning assemblies should not be organized. However, the schools with Intercom facilities may hold morning motivation talks along with news highlights and pandemic updates for 5-10 minutes keeping the children within the classes.
- The teachers and students should use this time to spread awareness regarding the virus and its spread.
- Usage of masks and sanitisers by all the students, teachers and staff should be made compulsory.
- Sports or cultural activities and any sort of such gathering need to be avoided.
Some more points to be noted
There are so many other aspects and all need to be looked into seriously.
- School management and teachers should ensure that the floor markers are placed at the school entrance and all must comply with instructions to form orderly lines and to maintain appropriate physical distancing upon entry and exit.
- If a student or teacher reports to be unwell, he/she should be kept in a separate room and advised to stay at home till he/she gets written medical clearance.
- Persons with flu-like symptoms shouldn’t be allowed in the premises.
- A screening notebook should be put in place to be used, if the staff or student has two consecutive high readings.
- In the current scenario, health education becomes the most crucial aspect of school education. All the students must be properly educated about how to keep themselves healthy and safe so that the monster of Corona dares not touch them.
- Regular sessions need to be conducted in schools to teach the students what includes a healthy plate and daily diet chart emphasising ‘Health is the greatest wealth.’
Now it is parents turn
- On the part of parents, the children need to be guided and educated on how to keep themselves safe once they are out of their homes.
- They need to be taught that Physical distancing must be observed within the school compound, especially at the washrooms, corridors, library, office, etc.
- They must be educated on how to develop stronger immunity, keep their respiratory system healthy, follow a strict regime of yoga and exercise and most importantly consume healthy food and keep themselves hydrated.
These are real-life concerns and the school management, along with teachers and parents have to tackle the situation carefully and prudently so that not a single life is put in danger, especially when it comes to ‘the future of our nation’.