COVID-19 has affected all the countries around the world. This pandemic didn’t leave any area of life unaffected, such is the intensity. However, different countries suffered in different ways, depending on their weak or sensitive areas. Some suffered economically, some medically, and some academically. However, the severe loss was persistent for countries around the world.
There are many countries that are eventually declaring themselves virus-free after a months-long battle. New Zealand, for instance, reported zero cases of Corona virus earlier in the month of June, declaring itself free of the deadly virus. Life is eventually getting back to normal in New Zealand and many other countries. With the final effects of Corona virus going away, businesses are reopening and countries are gaining a new foundation.
In the initial months of the virus, schools were the first to close down to ensure student safety. They have been closed since then, as classes moved to the internet. However, with speculations of “Corona virus lifestyle” becoming the new way of life or due to the effects fading away, many schools are now reopening.
Schools Re-opening Around the World
It is not just speculation that schools are re-opening. Many countries have already continued normal education to ensure that a whole year doesn’t go to waste. There are many countries that have opened educational institutes such as China, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and so on. Some schools in China opened back again whereas some still continue to open. Countries that are not entirely virus-free such as India, Pakistan, USA, have also announced dates of reopening, some starting in the mid of July.
Although, these schools were opened with some strict guidelines from the government. The stringent standard operating procedure is being followed by institutes around the world to prevent the virus from erupting again, as there are several speculations about the second wave of Corona virus. We have compiled together precautions these schools have adopted;
1- School Shifts
Experts recommend that it is best to conduct classes in sessions. It is easier to follow the standard operating procedure when there are fewer students to tend to. It is also safer for students to study in a class of 10 or 15. Schools can carry out this major change by dividing school timing into two sessions. Instead of 8 hour day at school, timing can be reduced to 4 hours a day school that is divided into two shifts. Each shift will include a limited amount of students per class. This is one of the ideal ways to deal with the safety concerns of parents and students.
2- Limited Number of Students
There is a high chance of virus spread in schools where classes are continuing with no changes and alterations. The quick spread of coronavirus requires teachers and management to take important steps to ensure that it doesn’t regain its initial strength. It is for the same reason that experts recommend school management to reduce class sizes. They are advised to take measures such as changing shifts, dividing students into sections, more rooms, and so on so that there is a fewer number of students in one class.
3- No mask – No entry
Despite strict orders from the government, there are many people who are not wearing masks when in public or crowded areas. The reason is simple, there is no one to force them to wear a mask. Authorities can only advise, rest is on the people. Although, wearing masks in public can become a norm if basic services are denied to those who are not wearing a mask. For example, shopkeepers can deny serving those who don’t have a mask on. Similarly, school managements can allow entry to those who wear a mask and teachers can strictly create a mask-on policy for classrooms.
4- Social Distancing
Apart from reducing the number of students in the class, teachers may also want to come up with a new seating arrangement. Social distancing is one of the best ways to reduce the spread of corona virus, as it spreads with human contact. Teachers may want to reduce the student to student and student to teacher physical contact. Students should maintain a considerable distance from one another to reduce physical connection. This distance should also be maintained during lunch break hours, and even in the staff room.
5- Sanitizers on every bench
Finally, the school or institute management may want to spend some extra cash on the school budget to install sanitizers in every class, if not every bench. It is better to provide every student with a small hand sanitizer bottle on their desks so that they can use it frequently, whenever they come in contact with another person. It is important to sanitize hands every now and then to reduce the chance of catching the virus through touching classroom peripherals.