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 Corona virus and our preparedness

 

Thorough preparations went into re-opening of our school after closure that was visited upon all institutions of learning the world over in early 2020 during the outbreak of corona-virus pandemic. We have established procedures should students or staff become unwell and  we have planned ahead with local health authorities, school health staff and updated emergency contact lists. We have ensured a procedure for separating sick students and staff from those who are well–without creating stigma–and a process for informing parents/caregivers, and consulting with health care providers/health authorities wherever possible. Students/staff may need to be referred directly to a health facility, depending on the situation/context, or sent home. We are intending to purposefully  share these procedures with staff,parents and students ahead of time..updated emergency contact lists. We have ensured a procedure for separating sick students and staff from those who are well–without creating stigma–and a process for informing parents/caregivers, and consulting with health care providers/health authorities wherever possible. Students/staff may need to be referred directly to a health facility, depending on the situation/context, or sent home. We are intending to purposefully  share these procedures with staff, parents and students ahead of time.

As you can see, when schools reopen these are some of the entry points at which our student community will be thoroughly guided as to safety practices with the new-normal situation upon us. We hope that we have learnt lessons about how to get back to a life of activity again. Let us work together as we tackle this menace visited upon us by the unknown. Let us all give thanks to the Almighty God who has taken care of us all along, even when we opened we have had no cases of illness at all fro all our campuses.

CHECKLIST FOR STUDENTS AND CHILDREN

1.In a situation like this it is normal to feel sad, worried, confused, scared or angry. Know that you are not alone and talk to someone you trust, like your parent or teacher so that you can help keep yourself and your school safe and healthy. Ask questions, educate yourself and get information from reliable sources

2.Protect yourself and others. Wash your hands frequently, always with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Remember to not touch your face. Do not share cups, eating utensils, food or drinks with others

3.Be a leader in keeping yourself, your school, family and community healthy. Share what you learn about preventing disease with your family and friends, especially with younger children. Model good practices such as sneezing or coughing into your elbow and washing your hands, especially for younger family members

4.Don’t stigmatize your peers or tease anyone about being sick; remember that the virus doesn’t follow geographical boundaries, ethnicities, age or ability or gender.

5.Tell your parents, another family member, or a caregiver if you feel sick, and ask to stay home.

 

 Proper hygiene within the school compound begins at the gate.Proper hygiene within the school compound begins at the gate.

 Preschool

  • Focus on good health behaviors, such as covering coughs and sneezes with the elbow and washing hands frequently

  • Sing a song while washing hands to practice the recommended 20 second duration.

   -Children can “practice” washing their hands with hand sanitizer

  • Develop a way to track hand washing and reward for frequent/timely hand washing

  • Use puppets or dolls to demonstrate symptoms (sneezing, coughing, fever) and what to do if they feel sick (i.e. their head hurts, their stomach hurts, they feel hot or extra tired) and howto comfort someone who is sick (cultivating empathy and safe caring behaviors)

  • Have children sit further apart from one another, have them practice stretching their arms out or ‘flap their wings’, they should keep enough space to not touch their friends.

Primary School

  • Make sure to listen to children’s concerns and answer their questions in an age-appropriate manner; don’t overwhelm them with too much information. Encourage them to express and communicate their feelings. Discuss the different reactions they may experience and explain that these are normal reactions to an abnormal situation.

  • Emphasize that children can do a lot to keep themselves and others safe.

          -Introduce the concept of social distancing (standing further away from friends, avoiding large crowds, not touching people if you don’t need to, etc.)-Focus on good health behaviors, such as covering coughs and sneezes with the elbow and washing hands

  • Help children understand the basic concepts of disease prevention and control. Use exercises that demonstrate how germs can spread. For example, by putting colored water in a spray bottle and spraying over a piece of white paper. Observe how far the droplets travel.

  • Demonstrate why it is important to wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water-Put a small amount of glitter in students’ hands and have them wash them with just water, notice how much glitter remains, then have them wash for 20 seconds with soap and waterHave students analyze texts to identify high risk behaviors and suggest modifying behaviors11-For example, a teacher comes to school with a cold. He sneezes and covers it with his hand. He shakes hands with a colleague. He wipes his hands after with a handkerchief then goes to class to teach. What did the teacher do that was risky? What should he have done instead?

           Lower Secondary School

  • Make sure to listen to studentsconcerns and answer their questions.

  • Emphasize that students can do a lot to keep themselves and others safe.

             -Introduce the concept of social distancing

             -Focus on good health behaviors, such as covering coughs and sneezes with the elbow and washing hands

                    -Remind students that they can model healthy behaviors for their families

  • Encourage students to prevent and address stigma

             -Discuss the different reactions they may experience and explain these are normal reactions to an abnormal situation. Encourage them to express and communicate their feelings

  • Build students’ agency and have them promote facts about public health.-Have students make their own Public Service Announcements through school announcements and posters

  • Incorporate relevant health education into other subjects

             -Science can cover the study of viruses, disease transmission and the importance of vaccinations

                   -Social studies can focus on the history of pandemics and evolution of policies on public health and safety

            -Media literacy lessons can empower students to be critical thinkers and makers, effective communicators and active citizens

       

             Upper Secondary School

  • Make sure to listen to studentsconcerns and answer their questions.

  • Emphasize that students can do a lot to keep themselves and others safe. -Introduce the concept of social distancing

  • Focus on good health behaviors, such as covering coughs and sneezes with the elbow and washing hands Encourage students to prevent and address stigma

              -Discuss the different reactions they may experience and explain these are normal reactions to an abnormal situation. Encourage them to express and communicate their feelings.  

  • Incorporate relevant health education into other subjects

              -Science courses can cover the study of viruses, disease transmission and the 12importance of vaccinations

              -Social studies can focus on the history of pandemics and their secondary effects and investigate how public policies can promote tolerance and social cohesion.

  • Have students make their own Public Service Announcements via social media, radio or even local tv broadcasting

               -Media literacy lessons can empower students to be critical thinkers and makers, effective communicators and active citizens