schools covid issues

3 Tips of How Parents can prepare for School next year

For many parents, the thought of taking their children to school come next year is not an easy choice. Thankfully, the news of a vaccine coming along is a relief to many. As schools reopen, it’s important that precautions are taken both inside and outside the classroom to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a huge blow to the education sector, bringing in a key lesson of the important role teachers play in ensuring that learning continues. As schools reopen, a lot will depend on teachers to ensure that children will be able to continue their education in a safe and healthy environment; and make up for knowledge and skills that may have been lost.

Within a short time, the same teachers who were unexpectedly tasked to streamline a new digital learning environment, are now expected to deliver a safe learning environment for children with very high risks. Teachers are currently having the role in the disambiguation of false, ‘fake information’ and dangerous myths circulating in the society that is feeding the fear and stigma of the disease. Many parents did not however know the significance and many roles that teachers have had to play in our communities in the efforts of child education.

Schools in Africa have had the disadvantage of poor infrastructure, fewer teachers and administrative staff per school among other challenges – if not mitigated will affect the success of the children. These challenges will limit the access of quality information to school children these affected areas, but there’s still room for improvement. A lot of the safety measures, information in the mitigation and treatment of COVID-19 comes from reliable sources such as UNICEF and WHO, as well as the health authorities in the country. Parents will need to keep getting informed about the situation and following the recommendations of public health experts in support of their children going back to school, we can protect our own well being and those around us.

For parents and in support with the teachers, the following measures can be used to mitigate and/or reduce the number cases when the children get back to school. They are as follows:

  • A flexible Rota system will benefit the school communities even with the expected fewer number per class expected (with each pupil spending a fortnight at school then a fortnight learning remotely so as to break the chain of Covid-19 transmission). This is a better system than all missing out on the classroom teacher interaction.
  • For the transport system to school to be successful, parents and teachers will not need to get extra transportation if the Rota system is employed. The provision of masks will be that of the parents. This comes along with sanitisers and maintaining the physical distancing measures.
  • The cost of testing may be prohibitive for many parents, this may be taken care of early detection of Coronavirus like symptoms. The areas with higher risk will need more robust measures to limit the spread of the disease to the children.

With the increasing rate of Covid-19 cases, it will take a concerted effort between parents, teachers and the public to mitigate the risk of the disease to the children. This responsibility is equally shared in the community without placing so much emphasis on the schools unless negligence is the result of the rising cases.

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