Precautions to Take as Schools and Colleges Reopen
Schools and colleges are gradually re-opening after being shut for more than two years. As the students get their backpacks ready to go to schools and colleges, authorities are looking forward to new challenges to tackle. Certain changes are to be made in the education system, so that the future holds bright for the students. As Oprah Winfrey once said,”Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom”. This new freedom should be dealt with certain precautions.
Maintaining Social Distancing
Social distancing is still to be practiced and to maintain that will showcase good school management. Students and teachers have to be careful as learning has to be imparted with a 6 feets distance. Masks should be compulsory and especially students should be positively told about its importance.
It will be a good thing if classroom learning is combined with online resource material as well. Videos and audios can greatly help students in their learning. Education should be seen as a joyous journey and hybrid learning is going to make it a seamless journey, for sure.
Lessen the Burden
As students start learning in the classrooms after a long gap, teachers can take care to not burden the students with multiple assessments and deadlines. Deadlines can be announced a week earlier, instead of announcing them a few days before. Group projects and group discussions are a better option, as they enhance the interpersonal communication skills of the students, and teach them community bonding at the same time.
No Social Gathering
Students should not be allowed to gather especially during the lunch hours and breaks. They should not be allowed to meet in groups after school as well. Only when extremely necessary, they should be allowed to gather, but all the precautions should be maintained
More Outdoor Activities
It will be a good step if students are allowed to undertake outdoor activities as it will provide good physical exercise, along with more open space for ventilation. Physical exercises should be seen as a necessity as it makes one’s body tougher. It also makes one’s immunity better and stronger than before.
Students should be taught and encouraged to use hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol. Paper soaps can also be used by the students and should also be made available by the school authorities as well. In most cases, gloves should be encouraged. Masks should be made mandatory as well. Carelessness on the part of students should be taken seriously. Teachers who flout rules could be fined as well, to serve as a future lesson.
Two students should not be allowed to sit together. There should be gaps between adjacent desks as well. Teachers should make sure to assign seats to students, so that they do not interchange them and increase the likelihood of spreading viruses and infections.
Role of Parents
Parents should make sure to teach their kids about the importance of hygiene and physical distancing. They should make sure that their kids do not flout rules in schools or colleges
Students who are vaccinated can serve as a role model, to those who are vaccine hesitant due to spread of misinformation in their areas. Vaccination is the most important step towards achieving global herd immunity against the deadly virus. Vaccination drives in school should be carried out. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised schools and colleges to carry out seminars and workshops to educate the general public about the importance of vaccination. India has already achieved 40% vaccination(both first and second doses) and can easily achieve 100% results with the help of students, who are the pillars of any society or country.
“Schools do much more than teach children how to read, write and count. They also provide nutrition, health and hygiene services; mental health and psychosocial support; and dramatically reduce the risk of violence, early pregnancy and more. And it’s the most vulnerable children who are the hardest hit by school closures, and we know from previous crises that the longer they are out of school, the less likely they are to return ” – United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund(UNICEF). It is therefore extremely important for authorities around the world that schools and colleges reopen by keeping all precautions in mind. No child should suffer or be left out.