On Saturday, 29th of August, the Lagos state government announced the reopening of schools.
Tertiary institutions are now to resume academic activities on 14th of September while basic and secondary schools are to resume “tentatively” on 21st of the same month.
From the figures provided by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, the virus is gradually losing hold in the country. Therefore, resumption can be possible.
This is not to say that the virus is no longer in the country; it is still affecting a good number of people and can potentially strike again.
With this in mind, the federal and state governments have rolled out directives to ensure safety of students and teachers ahead of resumption. This article looks into some of the precautions you need to take as a school owner.
What are the criteria for resumption?
As stipulated by the federal government, schools must meet the following criteria ahead of resumption
- Availability of hand washing facilities at all entry points to major facilities including gates, hostels, classes, and offices.
- Thermometers for checking body temperature.
- Availability of hand sanitizers
- Spacious classroom environment
- Periodic decontamination of the entire premises
- Spacious and hygienic eating environment
What Precautions should you take?
Even when all criteria have been met, there are precautions that must be taken in the day to day running of the school.
These precautions range from ensuring simple personal hygiene practices to setting rules that would protect both teachers and students from the virus.
These precautions include:
- Everyone in school must nose wear masks at all times. The virus spreads through fluid in the atmosphere. Using a nose mask prevents one from inhaling the virus. Sadly, most people do not wear the masks anymore, and some are wear it wrongly. Students, teachers, and non-teaching staff must have their masks on at all times.
- Set time for mandatory handwashing. Everyone in the school should be mandated to wash hands at certain times. This can be before and after break; or as frequent as possible.
- Ensure proper spacing in the classrooms. You need to ensure that there is enough physical distancing to prevent the virus from spreading in your school. Seats should be well spaced and students should be prevented from sharing a space closely together.
- Prevent excessive play. In class or during break, you must make sure that students do not get too close to each other while playing. This may require appointing a class police.
- Watch out for clusters. Students and even teachers may form clusters to discuss certain issues. This raises the chances of the virus being transferred.
- Mandate that all sick persons stay at home. Do not allow sick students into the school. Parents should be informed that if their kids are sick, they should stay at home.
- Temperature of students and teachers should be checked every morning before entry into the school.
- Ensure that an equipped sick bay is available to attend to students complaints. This is necessary to determine if there is need to isolate or not.
- When you notice the symptoms of Coronavirus in a student, isolate the student immediately and call the NCDC emergency lines.
- Ensure that your checklist is complete. Do not leave anything out. Your checklist shouldn’t only involve the physical aspects, it should involve the psychological and learning aspects too.
Apart from the physical aspects, you should also prepare the children to handle readjustment challenges by teaching emotional health education.
Do not take the situation with a nonchalant mindset. Covid-19 is still ravaging the entire world, and carelessness will have dire consequences.