As is the case with the work environment, as students head back to the classroom, they will need to adopt and enforce sanitisation and health protocols.
For all schools, it will be about implementing a variety of procedures and how effective these methods are. The measures that are introduced to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus might be effective in reducing the spread of the disease, but it is going to impact negatively on providing a heightened level of learning and proper childcare.
A good example of what is being implemented is the rotation of days of school and learning for students. This might provide the right amount of social distancing but will impact negatively on the mental state of the students and will lead to inconsistent learning environments for the learners. Additionally, limited budgets and infrastructure in poorer communities will in all probability not meet the standards of sanitisation and the needs of childcare. It is often difficult to enforce social settings. What is appropriate for adults could also prove to be difficult for children – particularly those that are very young.
It will be up to the individual schools and school systems to evaluate the health and safety measures to fit with what the department of health and education has stipulated and the protocols that schools need to practice. What will dictate how this is done is the physical infrastructure, the scheduling, and staffing as well as the transportation and behaviour policies of various educational facilities.
Ten Steps To Keeping Your School Clean
- There is a distinct difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitising. Cleaning is done using soap and water to remove grime and dirt from surfaces, and although it is good for the environment, it does not necessarily remove germs and viruses from surfaces. Removing germs will be the first step to avoid the spread of infection
- Disinfectant, on the other hand, kills germs on the surface of certain objects but is not necessarily used to clean surfaces the same as cleaning will do. Disinfectant is applied to avoid the risk and spread of infection
- Sanitising, on the other hand, lowers the number of germs on the surfaces of objects to ensure the surface is safe from germs and lowers the risk of the spread of infection – especially the COVID-19 virus
- In the classroom it is wise to disinfect high-touch objects and surfaces– these are surfaces that everyone touches regularly
- Ensure there are no books and papers that are exposed and not covered in waterproof covers as they will get damaged when sprayed with disinfectants and sanitisers
- Doorknobs, light switches, countertops, desks, chairs, computer keyboards and all other items that are touched by the teacher and learners need to be disinfected before and after each school session. Facilities that are commonly used by all students, such as bathrooms, will be stipulated by the school
- The minute a surface is dirtied, or objects become soiled use gloves and other precautionary measures and avoid coming into direct contact with any bodily fluids. Always disinfect the area after cleaning
- Most studies have shown that the flu virus can live up to 48 hours on a surface – it is necessary to close schools to clean or disinfect all surfaces to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus
- Continuous cleaning and disinfecting are undertaken in schools if there is an outbreak of viruses which should stop the spread
- Clean and disinfect correctly – it is important to always follow the directions on the labels of cleaning products and disinfectants. Always wash surfaces with household cleaners first and then clean with approved products to eliminate viruses and germs on surfaces.
Follow the protocol of the school when handling waste and always wear gloves when doing so. It is best to use a no-touch wastebasket and throw away disposable items used to clean, such as paper towels.
A school primary teacher in Paris remarked that “The school that the kids are going to find after lockdown will have little in common with the school that they left behind before lockdown”