Those days are not very far when schools will resume regular classes and all the academic stakeholders will get back to the new normal lifestyle with all the safety precautions. COVID19 is going to stay and children did not go to schools for more than six months. Though online classes were introduced in many schools as a supplement of offline classes, such classes could never guarantee holistic development as children were deprived of many activities which can only take place in the real school environment.
India is witnessing its 5th phase of unlocking and countries like Canada have already resumed their regular schools. Therefore, it can be assumed that schools in our country are going to follow the same path. Though schools across the nation are gearing up for reopening, the classroom environment is not going to be the same. The new classrooms during COVID-19 need to be well-aligned with safety protocols. While social distancing needs to be maintained strictly, it is important to put a strong emphasis on hygiene maintenance. Earlier education and development of children was the sole purpose of the educational institution. Amid the outbreak of COVID19, health has become the top-most priority. Thus schools cannot function without ensuring the best health of the academic stakeholders.
While reimagining the process of reopening schools, it is important to think through some of the major aspects which are essential of school reopening. They are:
- School sanitization and cleaning is a major requirement to reopen schools.
- It is important to keep a check on the crowd management of the schools. Even if the schools open, it is better to pursue a staggered opening format. Thus students can come to schools on the alternative days and can have rest of the classes online.
- Students need to be disciplined to maintain social distancing properly and avoid lending stationary items like pencils, erasers and pens from their peers.
- Sharing is no more caring at this point of time. Therefore, kids need to avoid sharing food and desks during lunch period to maintain social distance.
- Areas frequently touched like switch boards, doors handles, lift gates etc should be sanitized frequently.
- Running a school during this COVID-crisis is not going to be easy. Therefore it is important to maintain transparency among all the academic stakeholders when it comes to health. Be it the parents, staff, educators and students – all should convey about their slight changes in health conditions properly and take immediate precautions to ensure that others are not getting affected from any virus and they are also being at their best health.
- Keeping collaboration with a team of doctors or nearby hospital too can be done to ensure the best health of the students.
It is not possible to keep academic institutions closed for years to avoid corona virus. So it is better to start preparing to get back to school with top-notch safety precautions.