Back to School - Reopening Post-COVID
The Covid-19 pandemic paused the world around us, and even though a lot of situational changes have been made; the challenging times are still not quite over. The challenges particularly are about the future of school education. The whole reopening of the school campus has been debated and dissected for a while now, and the decision was taken to do the same over the last month or so. However, strict guidelines are imposed, and utmost adherence is expected.
Now, as the future of school education tries to slip back into its old shoes but with some modifications, there are several questions on the minds of all associated. How will the children be safe? What are some of the measures taken by the schools? How will the transition back to offline learning happen?
Government issues strict guidelines
With two waves of COVID already putting pressure on all the sectors of the country and states, the decision to reopen schools was postponed for quite a while. However, with a tinge of normalcy returning to our daily lives, schools were allowed to be reopened only under specific conditions set by the Karnataka Government.
Covid positivity rate has been taken into consideration, and areas with higher rates would not be allowed to reopen schools. Should areas with low positivity experience a rise, schools will be shut down again. Masks and social distancing will be followed while all teaching and other personnel will be required to be mandatorily vaccinated.
Steps are being taken by Millenium World School, one of the top 10 CBSE schools in Bangalore to ensure that a return to the school campus is possible over the month of October 2021. Complete compliance with the guidelines and measures to resume physical schooling are being implemented.
Other than those guidelines, there are far more problems to be tackled.
- Parents’ perspective and apprehension on a return to the school campus
Often during lockdowns, parents have had to deal with their children on a more frequent basis. With their work going on from home as well, it was not really an ideal environment. However, the reopening of schools has posed another dilemma.
Will it be safe for their children to return to the school campus and mingle with other students after a long duration of isolation? Children are playful and cannot always be expected to keep their masks on, keep their hands away from their faces and so on. Hence, it has to be something that needs to be thought out carefully.
- The transition back to offline learning
It has not been an easy transition for the students as well as teachers to switch to a fully online method of teaching. Several issues emerged in the process but with time, they have been overcome as students have now gotten accustomed to looking at a screen to receive their lessons, and communicate with their teachers and peers.
Now, there might not be as many challenges when they started online classes, but the transition back to offline learning in a classroom might be something to think about. For so long, students have been receiving lessons from the comfort of their homes, and getting back to their old habits might take time.
Another interesting subtext to this is the transition for students who have started their schooling during the pandemic. We are talking about the students of pre-nursery school who have not experienced offline or physical schooling ever. They will have to go through several adjustments such as socializing with their peers and teachers for the first time, face-to-face.
- Measures being taken by the school
Much like some of the top CBSE schools of the state, we at Millenium World School are gearing up to reopen our doors for Grade 6 students to resume physical schooling. We assure to follow all the guidelines in accordance with the Govt. of Karnataka to ensure the safety of students, teachers and other staff. First and foremost, all personnel (teachers and staff) have been vaccinated.
In terms of our facilities, the school campus, classroom and washrooms will be cleaned and disinfected at regular intervals. Sanitizer pumps have also been installed at various points while COVID infographics have been displayed.
Before the students return, they will be given ‘consent forms’ for their return. The form will be for the parents to consent to their child resuming physical classes from this month. Temperature checks, barring of large gatherings, mask mandates, limiting sharing are just some of the other measures being implemented to help the smooth resumption of physical classes.
The safety of students is of paramount importance
The pandemic has not spared any demographic. Children have been susceptible to it as much as the grownups. One can take all the measures possible but these things can still find a way. It is a given that the health and safety of the students are of the utmost priority. Hence, it would be an understatement that a huge but calculated risk is being taken by MWS Bangalore, recalling students to school. However, the time is as good as it has been for a while now and with a lot of hope, parents will be trusting that their decision to allow their children to return to the school campus is the right one.