As schools are planning to reopen, what steps are you taking to prepare and what should you consider doing?
This year my child will graduate from her kindergarten. Every year we attend the graduation party. But, this time I am depressed, as it seems, the special day for my child will never come true. Though my child is too young to understand what she is missing upon. As a mother I was eagerly waiting for this time to arrive and finally, we won’t be able to make it.
With the current situation in hand, schools are preparing to reopen in June and July this year in India and other countries. So, are you prepared to send your child back to school? As parents, there is a lot to keep you worried especially for sending children to school as they reopen after the pandemic. But life has to go back to normal and therefore, we have to be prepared with an action plan that works for us.
In this article, we will see how different countries are approaching to take children back to school. We will also put light on what we can do to keep our kids safe as they return to school.
How most countries have reopened school for students after the global pandemic?
Most Asian, European, and Australian schools have already reopened or planning to open in the coming months. However, the USA has decided to keep schools remain closed for the rest of the academic year.
Countries that have reopened their school for students have been practicing social distancing measures and other safety precautions. So, it works. Many counties have undertaken measures like alternative day school for pupils, thorough cleaning of school buildings, teacher and students wearing a mask to school, limiting gathering inside the school premises such as assemblies, prayers, etc.
Academic session versus Health of pupil
Parents and students have been constantly in a debate about going back to school. Some are concerned about their children’s health, whereas secondary school students are looking forward to reopening schools faster as they find online classes unsatisfactory.
The current pandemic has changed the way we think. Now we are ready to start our activities even amidst the breakout. Offices need to reopen and business needs to resume with proper precautions in place. Similarly, the reopening of schools is equally important. While many schools have attempted to carry on their academic sessions through online teaching, many students find it difficult to cope with online classes.
In a country like India, the internet and technology do not possess a strong grip in the villages. Therefore, online schooling can be difficult for kids who are pursuing education from such geographical locations.
In urban cities, parents of young children are complaining of a lack of concentration with online classes. Young children are missing school as well as losing interest in the online class and sometimes they lack concentration and miss out on studies.
So, we may say that online sessions are temporary, and there should be some actual alternative that works for student’s academics as well as their health.
Why should you send your child back to school?
You as a parent must be in a dilemma that whether to send your child back to school. This is normal as we are concerned about their health and safety. But if we think in a broader perspective, just like other business getting back to work, the schools should also resume with proper precautionary measures and hygiene.
Here are some reasons why sending children to school after the pandemic can be safe
1. The rate of infection in children is less
It has been observed in many studies that only 2% of children are affected by the pandemic in the world. This means even when your child plan to go back to school, he or she is safe, as they are less likely to contract the disease.
2. Social distancing measures practiced by schools
Many countries that have reopened schools for students have taken measures of maintaining proper social distance such as:
- No assembling for morning prayers or other occasions inside the school
- Calling of 30% of the total strength of the students at once
- Limited access to the school canteen, library, and other such places
- No extracurricular activities for students
- Masks are necessary for students, teachers and other school staffs
- Sanitization classrooms toilets and other highly touched surfaces
- Daily temperature checkup of students and teachers
- Frequent washing of hands
What can you do to safeguard your child from the disease as they go back to school?
As parents, we are responsible to maintain the good health of your children even when they go back to school. Along with strict precautions adopted by the school, there is much you can do as a parent.
1. Inquire what safety measure is practiced by your child’s school
Before you send your child back to school, it is crucial to ask the school authorities about what safety measures they have adapted to create a safe environment for the pupils. A well-explained answer is expected from each school authority. To ensure the safety of students, authorities of schools must notify what safety measures they are practicing at school. After receiving the desired information, you can decide, whether to send your child to school.
2. Build their immunity with food and a healthy lifestyle
There is a lot we can do at home to boost the immunity of our kids. After all, strong immunity plays a key role in keeping the virus away. So, here is what you can do to boost immunity.
- Give your child vitamin C enriched food
- Make them eat more greens and healthy food
- Keep them hydrated throughout the day
- Ensure daily activity to keep them fit
- Proper sleep is must gain self-immunity
3. Teach proper personal hygiene methods
While you still have time to send your child back to school, take the opportunity to teach them personal hygiene methods. Make it a habit to:
- Wash hands frequently
- Avoid touching surfaces
- Avoid touching their face
- Maintain distance from their friends at school
- Frequently sanitize their hands when they are at school
4. Tell them what they should not do at school and why
You might think this is self-explanatory, but with loads of information, your child may not be able to figure out the most useful one. Give them clear instructions on what they should do when at school and why. Most of the time, children are driven by emotions, and talking to them about the consequences helps them to obey your guidelines.
5. Talk to them about the new normal
Young kids will majorly mark this period as a long holiday, and they will tend to go back to their routine life as soon as they go back to school. Not understanding the severity of the issue can be dangerous. Talk to your child and make them understand that we cannot go back to our normal life currently. We cannot do most of the things that we would do otherwise, like shaking hands, sharing lunch, sharing school supplies, etc.
There will still be a debate with the reopening of school, but you as a parent is the best person to evaluate whether your child should go back to school or not. If the school fails to answer your queries regarding the adapted safety measures, then you might reconsider continuing further sessions with the same school.
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