The government is considering re-opening schools with vaccination drives happening nationwide at a faster pace. Social distancing protocols lead to a drastic decrease in COVID-19 cases every passing day. Therefore, people are starting to feel great relief and hoping to get back their social life. With the onset of normalization, best and effective measures are under process for each IB, ICSE, IGCSE, ISE, and CBSE school in various parts of India.
A few parents are still panicking about the situation, fearing its relapse. Science proves that children are more susceptible to the deadly virus to worsen situations. Therefore, schools must formulate strict rules and regulations by establishing safety parameters in the entire campus.
A thorough cleaning of the premises is essential to ensure hygiene. Sanitize washrooms, cafeteria, sports items, classrooms, furniture, and other commonly accessed places regularly. The school must hire extra people to get work done without fail. Mandatory sanitization will help keep the area sterile and effectively protect staff and students. Installing alcohol-based hand sanitizers in various zones in the campus will improve better defense against the virus even though the environment is clean and safe.
One child per bench is the primary step a school can take to maintain social distancing. Six feet gap is essential for everyone in the school to ensure safety. Furthermore, encouraging students to sit with a 3-meter gap will create an ideal environment to reduce the risk of virus transfer. The other vital steps to be taken are to avoid sharing food, exchanging items like stationery, and shaking hands with people. Schools should strategically work and sort things to make them work as expected. If children and parents prefer online classes, the school should make the necessary arrangements.
3.Phased Learning Technique
Operating with only half capacity on a rotational basis will ensure extra safety amongst kids. Schools can execute this by conducting classes for 50% of the students on certain days and making the other days available for the remaining 50%. Reduced school timings are the best way to enhance the phased learning procedure in an IB, IGCSE, and CBSE school.
Thermal scanning is a method to diagnose and take precautions to isolate students with COVID symptoms. Perform it frequently on students and other people on the campus and quarantine them when in doubt. Restrict people with the slightest cold, cough, or temperature from entering the campus.
5.Other Safety Measures
Wearing masks is the primary move in fighting against the disease and stopping its transmission. Schools must take an extra step by encouraging kids to wear gloves to protect everyone from contracting Coronavirus. Make personal sanitizers compulsory and request parents to send one in their school bags. Teach your children to use the sanitizer frequently as a preventive measure and stay safe.
Supplements for vitamins and minerals increase the immunity power in kids. Therefore, school authorities must counsel students and parents to incorporate WHO's essential supplements to boost their body's immunity. Vitamin D, B, and C are vital vitamins, whereas zinc is the crucial mineral to stay safe.
It's been 500 days since schools got locked since 2020. As per the UNESCO report, it affects approximately 320 million children worldwide. Young children face difficulty reading and writing with this big break in academics.
Another survey states that students miss out on interpersonal skills due to reduced social interactions and physical activity. The prolonged closure of schools is creating mental illness in kids and loosening friendship bonds with time. However, the re-opening of schools is still a dilemma as the government is not ready to risk the lives of children.
Everything You Need To Anticipate With The Education System Resuming
Recommendation on examining both district-specific and state-specific data regarding the previous wave information is essential in understanding the future. In addition, the details on vaccination coverage and its effect on COVID cases will give an insight into the third wave prediction. We can estimate the intensity of the fore coming wave by performing the above step to decide on schools' re-opening accordingly.
Restoring the situation and education system like how it was before Coronavirus times is today's greatest challenge. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, multi-layered COVID-19 mitigation measures are mandatory to re-open schools with proper implementation of its norms. Phased learning is one of its vital parameters which will reduce the risk of exposure during times of uncertainty.
The testing strategy is another best method to control and check the spread of the virus. Scientific evidence and experts accept that with the COVID testing kit, the school re-open is possible in the near future. In their opinion, they believe that the testing strategy will act as a critical intervention to manage the situation well. However, ICMR suggests using them as an adjunct and not as a substitute along with other measures.
What To Expect With Schools Re-Opening?
Higher authorities of the medical council recommend the best CBSE school and renowned learning institution in urban places to enable on-site testing accessibility. They make their point clear by stating that you can expect temporary closures with re-open if the situation worsens once again. As a precautionary measure, all the officials at school, including maids, drivers, and helpers, must receive their two doses of vaccinations and wear a mask continuously.
ICMR gives a heads up to expect the current scenario to continue for a longer time as it is a known fact that Coronavirus is not going to fade away completely. Moreover, experts open up that vaccination is not a cure and will not prevent virus acquisition in both adults and children. All of us should understand that it is only a medium to suppress the intensity of the disease and prevent life-threatening risks associated with the virus.
ICMR recommends incorporating a combination intervention to instil confidence amongst everyone that the school environment is safe for kids.
There is another contradicting fact that children below five must not use masks as the risks of getting respiratory problems are higher. However, children above 12 belong to the category of adults and can use them at all times, whereas kids below 6-11 years can have flexibility owing to their age.
Summing It Up
Coronavirus risk is higher in kids, but the mortality rate is low as they recover quickly. We must anticipate an over-dispersed phenomenon in India with COVID-19 as certain states experienced a sporadic rise in cases after the first wave as they re-opened the schools. However, the good news is that global evidence states that schools are safe and do not transmit Coronavirus.
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