Educational institutions all around the world were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the occasional closure of all educational activities around the globe. Initially, most countries closed their educational institutions temporarily. However, the situation is now getting better and countries are reopening their institutions with proper safety behaviours. The students who are well will continue their learning under the guidance of the State’s COVID-19 safe Workplaces Framework.
It is recommended that schools should continue their educational activities with proper safety measures and behaviours. Essential strategies for education institutions and Care sector to implement and keep people healthy include:
- Sensitizing citizens for etiquettes of cough, sneeze and personal hygiene.
- Promoting the cleaning of frequently contacted surfaces.
- Encouraging people to maintain social and physical distance.
- Sensitizing people to stay at home if they are not feeling well.
- Looking after psychological wellbeing conditions of families and students.
PHYSICAL DISTANCING IN SCHOOL
The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) is encouraging adult students as well as parents and teachers to exercise maintaining physical distances. As there is very low evidence of COVID-19 spread among children so physical distancing in playgroups and early childhood education is not needed under present conditions.
- The schools having their own transport services in Australia are advised to use their buses safely following proper hygiene measures.
- One who is feeling unwell should avoid bus service.
- Cycling or walking should be preferred for short trips.
- Schools should practise social distancing at bus stops.
- Sanitisers should be used before and after catching buses so good hygiene can be maintained.
- Select a seat away from another passenger if possible.
- Cashless ticketing options should be preferred.
Due to the current COVID-19 environment, all accommodation facilities in Australia have changed their operating procedures weather there are Government or independent. They have increased safety measures as far as practicable, including continuous cleaning and maintaining physical distancing. Practices like personal hygiene, etiquettes of coughing/sneezing are being encouraged.
WHICH STUDENTS SHOULD GO TO SCHOOLS?
All students, who are healthy and are well should be sent to schools. For students which are at high risk of illness because of COVID-19, parents should seek medical advice from doctors. Students having the following symptoms should avoid going to schools:
- Flu/runny nose
- Breath shortness
- Coughing, sore or itchy throat
Once these symptoms have passed, they can return to their schools till that they should stay in their homes and their parents should seek advice from Public Health Hotline on 1800 675 398 for their COVID-19 tests. Parents of children having serious symptoms like breathing difficulty should call 000 (Triple Zero).
EVENTS & GATHERINGS IN SCHOOLS
Educational institutions are reintroducing activities like:
- Sports Events
- Interschool Competitions
- Teacher/Parent Meetings
During all these activities proper hygiene should be practised, current restrictions on gatherings and physical distancing for adults. An official record will be kept for all adult visitors to school sites. Life safety of students is the first priority for the Australian government. All schools are obliged to strictly follow the safety measures and adopt maximum safety behaviours.