School resumes - act responsibly and support the child in the new environment (Video)

Sunday, 24 October 2021 - 10:08

Challenging times for all concerned, the child, parents and guardians, teachers and health authorities as the battle between growth and formation vs health continues.

School is more than education and in order for the child to make maximum use of the environment in his or her formation in this new normal conditions, parents will have to play a greater role in guiding the young ones as they transition from home to school and a new routine, for some it will be from online to physical interaction while for others this will be their first day at school after nearly a year.

It becomes the responsibility of all stakeholders to act sacrificially and also responsibly in order to ensure that the children can recover the lost time.

Need to work as ONE community 
The situations will not be normal, not to everyone's personal preference or liking, and therefore it becomes even more important to work as one community ensuring that we protect and safeguard all. It is the time for the people of the country to stand together to defeat the virus while giving all possible support to the children to succeed, we need all to succeed in order to develop the country. 

The Ministry of Education states that it is ready to facilitate services to attend schools for students, teachers, principals and staff who are unable to attend school from tomorrow due to inter-provincial travel restrictions. Its secretary Prof. Kapila Perera said that students who do not wish to go to distant schools have been given the opportunity to pursue their education at a school in their locality.

Meanwhile, the Teachers 'and Principals' Joint Trade Union Alliance states that the opening of schools has been carried out without a proper plan. Joseph Stalin, secretary of the Ceylon Teachers' Union, speaking to the Hiru news team said that they would launch a trade union action against the salary issue in schools from tomorrow.

Don't send your child to school if he or she is sick
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health urges parents to refrain from sending their children to school if they are ill.

Primary grades from grade 1 to grade 5 in all schools islandwide will resume from tomorrow.

The primary sections of all schools in the country which were closed due to the Covid pandemic will resume after a period of six months from tomorrow.

However, the authorities stated that the covid pandemic has not yet been completely eradicated, and therefore its risk has not yet been completely eliminated either. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the parents or guardians to take care of your child's safety while attending school.

The children will be going to school after spending about 6 months at home. Therefore this will require space for children to get used to the new environment and routine. 

Some children will be stepping into the schools for the first time as their first day to grade one for this year.

Therefore, going to school can be a new experience for all children.

Some will meet old friends after a while and others will also have the opportunity to make new friends. But in the face of the Covid risk, children have to go through all these experiences at a distance. This is a difficult discipline for even adults, however for the safety of the child they need to be guided in this process carefully. 

They will need to meet subject to hygienic procedures. It is your responsibility as parents and teachers to ensure the health of the child is protected. Remember to give your child hygiene equipment, including face masks and disinfectants, before going to school.

Don't buy food from outside
Keep in mind that buying food from shops and giving it to your child may not be safe.

If the child goes to school by a school van, three-wheeler or public transport, instruct the child to keep the distance as much as possible.

It is the responsibility of the staff, including the principal, to measure the temperature at the entrance to the school and to facilitate hand washing. Teachers should make sure that children do not get too close to each other and to maintain distance in the classroom.

Also, explain to your child the importance of adhering to these guidelines. The child should be made aware that masks must be worn at school at all times. It is important to instruct children to use their own devices such as books, erasers and pencils, and to avoid sharing them with others.

Be sure to provide a bottle of water from home, especially for the child's personal consumption.  Teach your child that while sharing is good, due to the pandemic, ask them not to share it with others since it can be risky, for the child as well as others. 

When they come home - wash and clean 

The child may come home from school after being exposed to the virus. So be sure to wash and clean your child's clothes as soon as he gets home. Be sure to bathe and clean the child as well.

In addition, note that the mental level of the children should be handled with care as they get used to all of these new normal conditions. 

Children are quick to adapt
Children are quick to adapt and find it easy to follow instructions when they know why they are supposed to do it. Therefore, it will be important to explain to your child the importance of the guidelines but also enable them to have hope and dream big as they enter into their school premises tomorrow.

School is more than just passing on content or knowledge and therefore support the child and the teachers in the formation of character at a time such as this. 

The role of the parent and or guardian becomes even more critical to ensure the total health of the child's mind, body and soul.  

Will school opening create a third wave
(A detailed repot is to be published)
An analysis of various studies shows that there was limited Covid-19 transmission in schools if precautions such as wearing masks, ensuring ventilation in classrooms and avoiding overcrowding were followed.

An analysis of various studies shows that there was limited Covid-19 transmission in schools if precautions such as wearing masks, ensuring ventilation in classrooms and avoiding overcrowding were followed. Despite the more transmissible Delta variant having increased the number of Covid-19 cases in those below 18 years in the UK and the US, severe cases and deaths are still at similar levels as in 2020 and the rate of severe cases and deaths is lower in children than older people, data and research show.

Indian experts point out that high seropositivity among children shows that the lockdowns and school closures did not protect children from getting infected. Further, the risk of infection from children to adults is low, studies have shown. What schools must do, though, is ensure that all precautions such as distancing and mask-wearing are adhered to, while all adults get vaccinated.