The coronavirus pandemic forced education institutions across the entire nation to close thousands and thousands of schools, technical institutions, and universities saw their classrooms empty from one day to the next.
In such a scenario before school doors reopen Best Schools in North Bangalore are working in multiple approaches to adopt preventive measures for safety and well-being of each and everyone in the institution.
Some of the precautions to be taken by schools include Pre-Class screening, smaller class sizes, strict adherence to social distancing norms, rescheduling pickup and drop of children, regular disinfection, installation of alcohol based hand sanitizer in premises and overall counselling of parents and students regarding boosting immunity and physical health, Installation of UV-C lighting at schools. Teachers’ responsibility has increased in terms of imparting knowledge related to curriculum as well as corona.
Schools and institutions are working in context of blended learning as online can be value addition, but normal schooling is required for physical and social development of the child and hence is adopting required measures of Preparation, Precautions and Prevention.
As school reopen, it’s important that precautions are taken both inside and outside the classroom to prevent the spread of COVID-19
1. Daily temperature screening of each and every one at school before entering the school premises – It is really important for screening each and every one whoever is entering the schools, the person examining the temperature screening has to wear gloves and mask as a compulsory measure and record the temperature for audit purpose
2. Sanitizing hands with alcohol based regularly, this applies to everyone who is entering the school premises – Ensure that the sanitizers are not touched by anyone, and everyone sanitizes their hand compulsorily. Practice hand-washing at home with your child and explain why it's important to wash his or her hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before and after eating, coughing/sneezing, or adjusting a face mask. To prevent rushing, suggest washing hands for as long as it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice. When hand-washing isn't available, suggest that your child use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Also, explain that he or she should avoid touching his or her eyes, nose, and mouth. Schools should encourage routines that encourage frequent hand-washing and following good hand hygiene practices, such as asking children to cover their mouths and noses with their elbows or tissues when they cough or sneeze and then washing their hands.
3. Maintain social distance - Social distancing, or physical distancing, is the practice of allowing enough space between individuals to reduce the spread of disease.
4. Disinfecting the school premises regularly – Class rooms, Rest rooms, Common areas, Staircase, Dining area etc. are disinfected on a daily basis to ensure the safety and wellbeing
5. All the transport buses are regularly disinfected
6. Wear mask all the time - The WHO recommend wearing face mask in indoor public spaces and outdoors where there is a high risk of COVID-19 transmission, such as at a crowded event, and schools are no exception. This advice is based on data showing that people with COVID-19 can transmit the virus before realizing that they have it. Wearing cloth face masks should be a priority especially when it's hard to maintain social distance, such as on the bus, at carpool drop-off or pickup, and when entering the building.
7. Change your mask on daily basis – Have multiple cloth face masks available for your child. Provide your child with a clean mask and back-up mask each day and a clean, resealable bag for them to store the mask when they can't wear it, such as at lunch. Don't place a face mask on a child younger than age 2, a child who has any breathing problems, or a child who has a condition that would prevent him or her from being able to remove the mask without help.
8. Avoid sharing of food/Beverages – Always educate the children not to share the food during the pandemic situation. It is always safe to clean your hands before having food
9. Eat healthy food which boosts your immunity – As a part of health and hygiene encourage the children to have healthy food as a part of their daily meal
10. Ensure all the teachers and staff are vaccinated as per government norms – As we all know that vaccinations are available at government/private hospitals, school and institutions should make mandatory for everyone above 18 aged persons to get vaccinated
11. Stay home if sick - Some schools may recommend daily temperature readings as a part of COVID-19 symptom screening. But since many of these symptoms overlap with other conditions, such as the common cold, allergies and influenza, the effectiveness of this screening can be limited. To limit the spread of COVID-19 as well as other germs, children should stay home from school and other activities if they have any signs of illness or a fever. Contact your doctor if you have questions.
The most important part which gained conscious is that learning continues, as the school have opened, teachers and the staff has to ensure the safety and provide confidence that the schools have maintained health and hygiene as an important factor and is safe which can be listed as a healthy environment.
As a teacher, knowing the facts will not only protect yourself but also your students. Be aware of fake information and dangerous myths about COVID-19 circulating that are feeding fear and stigma. Some of your students might be returning to school from households where they heard false information about COVID-19. You will need to educate them on the facts.
Understanding COVID-19, how it spreads and how we can protect ourselves and others is an important first step in establishing classroom procedures and protocols. Students need to understand what it is in order for them to follow the rules. Listen to their concerns and ideas and answer their questions in an age- appropriate manner.
Whether classes are happening at school or at home, make sure your child is up to date with all recommended vaccines. All school-aged children should get a flu shot each season. Getting a flu vaccine is especially important this season because the flu and COVID-19 cause similar common signs and symptoms. Although the flu shot does not protect against COVID-19, it can reduce the risk of the flu and its complications. It's another layer of defence to help prevent missed school days.
What in case if your child is exposed to COVID 19:
Develop a plan to protect the child and its family members, Ensure the teachers are in regular touch with their family members to get the details of health condition. Make sure that school will communicate to the family of the exposed children and plan to maintain student privacy. Plan ahead for periods of quarantine or school closures. Schools may close if COVID-19 is spreading more in your community or if multiple children or staff test positive. Your child may also need to stay home if he or she is exposed to a close contact with COVID-19.
Finally, don’t skip vaccination, whether classes are happening at school or at home, make sure your child is up to date with all recommended vaccines. All school-aged children should get a flu shot each season. Getting a flu vaccine is especially important this season because the flu and COVID-19 cause similar common signs and symptoms. Although the flu shot does not protect against COVID-19, it can reduce the risk of the flu and its complications. It's another layer of defence to help prevent missed school days.