Children at school have always been prone to getting sick. It almost goes hand in hand with getting new school supplies that your kid will get a flu once back in school while playing and pondering with their friends. Now imagine with a global pandemic! Although many questions remain unanswered, the numbers we have seen so far show that kids tend to have mild symptoms, if any, and they very rarely need hospitalization. Which is one of the factors that led the UAE government to announce that schools will be back for the new term starting August 30th, 2020 and they went even further by giving parents the option of whether they want their children to resume classes online or onsite in classrooms.
Having been homeschooled for the last several months it is safe to say that both the kids as well as the parents are super excited to get rid of each other, for the span of the school day at least.
For those who opted to send their kids to onsite classes, schools have been quite ingenious in adapting to the current situation and formulating new safety measures and guidelines to protect their students and staff.
Social Distancing – Some schools have tweaked their lesson and lunch schedules to accommodate for the new rules regarding social distancing. Others have fewer students enrolled to attend onsite classes overall. While others are placing desks meters apart and holding all lessons in one classroom to minimize students shuffling around.
Temperature checks – Thermal cameras are monitoring students and staff coming in some schools, while other schools have regular temperature checks. Temperature checks will happen quite regularly throughout the day (mornings, before each lesson, after lunch etc) to keep a close eye on all students and teachers.
Safety Equipment – Students and staff are to be wearing masks at all times. Parents are urged to pack extra masks for their kids and to wash cloth masks regularly and replace disposable ones. Hand sanitizing stations are plentiful and mandatory isolation wards have been set up as a last resort in case someone starts to show COVID-19 symptoms.
Advice for the parents – Parents are urged to remind their kids not to share their belongings. They are also asked to stress the importance of keeping social distance requirements, so that means no High-fives for now! And lastly to always keep their masks on and to keep sanitising