Back to School in Covid-19

Life has been very tough during the pandemic for both parents and children. Going back to school during these Covid times might sound scary and creepy but some time or the other we have to.

As we teachers all around the world get ready to get back to school with the new precautionary measures, so do students in many parts of the world.
The world is slowly seeing an increase in the number of children returning to the classroom.

It’s a small beginning to get back to normal but the thing we need to remember well is that even though things might be getting back to normal the Coronavirus is still out there, its not gone.

If schools do reopen soon remember to first and foremost take the necessary precautions.

Preschoolers and primary students are better suited at home since they are too little to follow all the necessary instructions and parameters adopted by the schools. Nevertheless, in many countries the cooperation of schools, teachers and parents is making this possible as well. What’s important is that we work hand in hand.

In the country that I’m in, all schools are conducting a survey asking parents if they would want their children to get back to school. The decision has been left to the parents. Of course strict directives have been issued to schools on the measures to be carried out.

It’s possible that many countries might open up schools for a certain period of time by gauging the situation and then make a decision again to close temporarily depending on the current statistics.

As a teacher I do keep track of the worldwide cases and latest news on the WHO and UNICEF websites. You’ll find below a combination of my thoughts and pointers by UNICEF on…

what it’ll look like returning to school during the Covid19 pandemic.

  1. Daily start and end times at school may change and most probably shortened. Students will probably return to school for just 4-5 hrs and be subjected to entry depending on their temperature checks at the school gate.
  2. Mealtimes may or not may not be included since it involves a high amount of risk. Even if mealtime is included it will be conducted with strict precautions in place. Most important point to remember is to not share food and maintain the 2 meter distance at all times.
  3. The UNICEF advises to move classes temporarily to much open spaces or the outdoors to prevent the spread of the virus, but, this will depend on the school and how feasible it is. Again social distancing rules will be followed strictly.
  4. Class sizes are likely to be reduced by holding school in shifts for the students to avoid overly populated classes. They’ll likely be only 4-5 students in a class.
  5. Schools will have a look into the water and hygiene facilities. Administrators will most probably hold info meetings to inform and remind students of hand-washing, social distancing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, safe eating habits etc.
  6. Probably transportation services may not be provided by the school anymore, so if you decide to send your children to school you’ll have to arrange their transportation.

Getting our children back to school is going to be one of the most important diecisons we make during this academic year so make sure to ask the school a few questions.

  1. What steps is the school taking to ensure student safety? Be aware of the directives given by the government and go check for yourself if possible.
  2. How will the school support those children who may need extra support? Children all around the world have shown their persistence and commitment to their learning but there have also been students who couldn’t cope with the remote learning system and are therefore lagging behind.
  3. How will the school mentally support students and combat any stigma against those who may have been affected? If few students or their families have been affected by the pandemic and will be returning to school, find out how the school will support them.
  4. Lastly, find out how you can help as a parent. We need support during this pandemic and helping each other will only make things better.

Whether you decide to send your children back to school or not remember that they too will be under a lot of stress. Support and nurture them and positively answer their questions. They might act frustrated or anxious, let them know it’s okay to feel that way and educate them on all the measures they must follow. Life has been tough for us and more so for our children during this pandemic so show them all the love, care and concern they deserve.

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