How can parents ensure that school resumption in the middle of the pandemic is safe? All parents are going to have to make these difficult choices. Everyone needs to weigh in the need for return to a normal routine and their child’s safety and wellbeing.
State governments in the South-West geopolitical zones of Nigeria have made the decision for schools to commence resumption for primary 6, junior secondary school 3 and senior secondary school 3. All schools have certain guidelines to meet to ensure the right safety measures to safeguard the children involved. However, parents and guardians have personal decisions to make pertaining to the safety of their children and wards. Below is a list of things to consider:
What safety precaution is the school putting in place?
Parents should enquire from the school management on the safety measures schools have put in place for the student’s wellbeing. This includes the physical distancing requirement and how this might affect the school routine. Children, especially the younger ones, are used to touching and hugging each other. It might be difficult to ensure that they observe physical distance requirements.
Will the school be offering blended learning which is both online and offline?
It is understandable that some parents would be reluctant to have their children return to school. Reason being that there has not been much progress in quelling the present pandemic and the effects in the country as a whole. As preparations are in place for children to get back to their physical classes, schools should provide facilities for online study sessions. This is in the case where parents are not yet comfortable with sending their children or wards back tp physical school.
How will schools handle children who are unwell
In the event of illness in some children, either from home or school, the level of awareness and decision making of schools would be of utmost importance. Factors to be in place would involve the school clinic facilities and equipments. Presence of a good medical officer. And also identification of possible contacts made with other students or staff in the school area. Parents need to understand all procedures for school resumption in the pandemic.
Understand the guidelines from your community or state
The state governments and health safety bodies have put guidelines in place to guide schools resumption. This is to ensure the safety of all individuals, children and staffs alike. It is important that parents are aware of all guidelines for all schools. When parents are aware, they can have the right level of engagement with school owners.
Items children need for safe return to school
Parents and schools can prevent transmission of the coronavirus by equipping children with safety items. Schools and parents are both responsible in this aspect. to equip their children and students with protective items. At the minimum, these should include a kit that includes breathable face masks, hand sanitizers and gloves.
As everyone starts to prepare for the new normal and possible school resumption, all stakeholders need to be willing to engage and collaborate to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
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