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Come September: a possibility of schools reopening: the gloom of anxiety plain in the eyes of children and misgivings intense in parents: are the schools, the classrooms safe and worried of the issues who will hold the responsibility for their safety.

Many parents insist on one disturbing doubt nagging them, “how will the teachers and the authorities enforce the social distancing and the many safety guidelines recommended in the classrooms.”

How could children remain safe without the pandemic lurking anywhere in the school where the adults move freely in the corridors, in the premises: like the attending staff, maids, cooking staff, cafeteria workers, attenders, and bus drivers’? Could anyone likely be a carrier? The scenario appears very scary to make a decision should the children go to schools once reopened. The rage and control of the pandemic is still a risk factor.

Then, there hangs a question about the most arguable issue: what if the authorities justify and order that it’s safe to reopen the schools and many parents contend that it’s a risky proposition: then how does one intervene and assure the parents?

Whatever the time and prospects of schooling in the future, the parents need to deal with a cautious approach that the school, the curriculum, the rules would look different when they reopen. We have to get used to the new normal and how different it would depend upon the area we live, the spread of the virus in the area, how the authorities apply the rules for cleaning, social distancing, and sanitizing, testing, and the local hospital facilities.

The parents have to consider the conduct and strictness of safety guidelines in place when the schools get ready to reopen in months to come.

Parents have to inspect and monitor the following arrangements in the schools periodically:

Ensure that the schools reopen confirming with state and departmental guidelines.

Check the school for facilities, teams ready to screen students, and staff for symptoms and exposure, and history upon arrival.

See for the health and safety practices put in place before the reopening?

See that the authorities train the staff and teachers to prevent transmission, recognise signs of illness, and stock the required medical essentials.

Work on encouraging and monitoring hand washing, sanitizing, and personal hygiene rules.

Check the classrooms for ventilation, disinfection, cleaning, and frequency it’s practiced especially in frequent-touch areas.

Are they using masks among the staff and older students and other adults employed in the school?

Look at the arrangement of physical barriers, periodic reminders, posters about the safe distancing in places where the children are likely to assemble like in corridors, playground, dining hall, and auditorium.

It’s recommended to minimize the time in the playgrounds.

Ask about the seating arrangement in the school buses or any transportation arrangement.

Look at the spacing in the classrooms, avoiding the sharing of books, other learning materials.

It is very difficult to imagine how the children’s lives got reshaped, passing through the months of detained days of the COVID pandemic. Particularly in areas badly hit by the virus spread. They miss their friends; they miss their mischievous pranks; they miss their games, but we never know how much they crave for those little deeds in person. When discussing the reopening of the schools, I wish it’s their voice that should be heard first.


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