Schools in the state shall start functioning physically from November 2. But how safe really is it to reopen schools considering repeated warnings from WHO about the winter surge of the virus.
Well there are no clear cut answers ofcourse but healthcare experts mandate a few precautions. For instance schools should limit unnecessary visitors to the buildings and utilize outdoor spaces for learning. School busses should not be packed at any time, hallways within school premises should allow children to walk only in a single line, while cafeterias, classrooms and libraries should be regularly sanitized. Screening protocols too are a must.
Students should be apprised about virus symptom monitoring and mask usage.Experts also caution that remote learning protocols must stay in place for if another shutdown needs to occur, children will rely on distance learning completely.
Experts caution that remote learning protocols must stay in place for if another shutdown needs to occur, children will rely on distance learning completely.Some experts are of the view that parents should be given a daily checklist to document their child's health. Children should be screened quickly on arrival (at home and school) and be given hygiene supplies. Maintenance staff in schools should use appropriate PPE and have regular cleaning schedules. Besides a notification system should be in place to address identified cases, healthcare experts collectively urge.
Limiting class size and not having special activities that require students to leave the classroom, will be key. However, not all recommendations will be achievable for schools in certain areas.
Moreover, while these guidelines may help, many people do not think that children should go back to school over fears of virus contraction.
"They could contract the disease and spread it to other vulnerable family members like grandparents, infant siblings, or their parents," says a parent of an eleven year old child in Guwahati while another counters this argument saying, "Children especially those below 12 years of age are at a lower risk of contracting the infection. Moreover going to school is a much needed discipline. Already children have wasted a year and now they need to cover up this loss."