I know quite a lot has been said about whether schools should reopen soon or not. And no matter what country you reside in, there are certianly anxieties from a lot of quarters especially parents, educators, school leaders and decision makers around the whole school re-opening dilema. It's tough!
I shudder at the thought of what could happen should schools resume now, with the limited or grossly inadequate funding a lot of schools are currently experiencing. I mean, come to think of it; schools are making little or no money at this dire time in history. And yet, they are supposed to cough out money to prepare adequately for school reopening should there be a directive to that effect.
How prepared are we really? And how prepared will we ever be eventually?
With everything happening, a lot of schools will definitely not be able to meet up with the requirements in the guidelines, directives and expectations for school resumption considering the pandemic. I conjecture a lot of schools will be making decisions based on their circumstances and not necessarily from what will be effective for the safety and health of their students and staff.
At the end of the day, what will be at stake will be the lives of the students and the staff involved. And sad and constantly worried parents, fretting about the safety and health of their children at school; and possibly losing their children and blaming it all on the school authorities and the government.
Hence, I believe strongly that we need to be careful about reopening schools. When the concerns bothering parents and educators have been adressed, it will be an easier chance to take to reopen.
Concerns such as social distancing. How practicable is this to enforce in some schools by the way?
Hygiene: Will the temperature of every child and staff be taken everyday? Who will be responsible for this? What about schools that have over a thousand students? What happens to the students in the boarding houses? How do you enforce social distancing?
Schools will require social dostancing; masks will need to be available, and extra access to hand sanitizers must be made available. Spaces will need to be reconfigured for social distancing. Lunch will be served in the classrooms or students will need to bring their lunch.
School buildings will need to be disinfected every night. Gush, is this really doable in a developing country and across different schools?
Grouping children into small pods is highly recommended, coupled with a drastic reduction in class sizes everywhere.
That tells me more teachers will be needed, right? Who will pay them?
I'm not sure what to say here any more.
In the mean time, I go strongly with the recomendation that we do a mix of in-person and remote learning and teaching. This plan may mean having students in school twice a week while putting the health and safety of our educators first.
Truth be told, getting students back to school successfully and safey will one of the biggest achievements we will all boast about eventually, in this pandemic. Not a mean task to acheive at all!!
So, yes, blended learning to our rescue! But this requires funding and training the educators involved to deliver it efficently. Technology is involved; can every school afford it?
And very importantly, what will be the re-closing plan should teachers or students get infected with the virus.
arious thought are just flitting through my mind.
What do you think about schools reopening? Please share your thoughts here.
Getting students back to school successfully and safely will one of the biggest achievements we will all boast about eventually, in this pandemic.
Nancy Ekpezu is a professional administrator, manageemnt consultant and life coach. Please get on the website www.nancyekpezu.com to read more about her and what she does.
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