This new normal has affected every aspect of countries’ economies, and it has had the greatest impact on schools. So many things need to be set in place before children can go back to school feeling safe and secure.
Right now, distance learning is working for a lot of schools but children are used to the physical learning environment.
Until technological advancements are made and social equity is established, physical school structures will always remain essential. It’s more than mere academics to children. Asides writing, math, and reading, these kids learn emotional and social skills that carry them on for life. They also have access to mental health support as opposed to distance learning.
For these children, schools are safe places to be when their parents/guardians are working. Some families depend on schools to give them the right meals, and access to other activities.
Low-income immigrant families rely on schools more because many of their households don’t have access to internet facilities or live in an area that wouldn’t contribute positively to the child’s mental health and development.
So, seeing how important physical schools are, how can they ensure the safety and security of students?
What can schools do?
a. Promote physical hygiene in schools:
Without or without a pandemic, it’s so important for schools to emphasize the need for proper hygiene. There should be sanitizers and hand washers stationed at every possible entrance, exit, classroom, hall, or playground.
Children must be encouraged to wash their hands regularly before carrying out any activity. That way, parents feel more secure to let their kids go back to school.
b. Make swift changes in classrooms
Schools aren’t going to be run the way they used to be. Students should eat lunch on their desks (that are adequately spaced) or in little groups instead of eating in crowded lunch cafes.
Classroom doors should be left open so that doorknobs won’t be touched excessively.
c. Physical distancing
Students should be encouraged to stand at least 6 feet away from each other. Studies have also shown that desks spaced 3 feet away from each other can have the same impact, especially when the kids don’t have any form of illness.
Teachers and other staff aren’t exempted. They should stand 6 feet away from each other and the kids.
d. Schools should inculcate tech into their routines
This New Normal has shown the importance of technology and innovation in our lives. While schools are preparing to resume academic activities, they should fortify their distance learning efforts as it may become a great tool in future education.
Furthermore, when schools resume, they should consider doing live stream of all major activities instead of cramping children in a hall. That way, it’s easier to manage and monitor.
Parents, on the other hand, should equip their kids with tech supplies like laptops, phones, earbuds, smart wristwatches, etc. Parents should take advantage of great deals like the Honor Promotion.