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Plan of action for the new normal post covid-19

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Dr. Chandrakanta R. Pathak

To prevent the virus from entering school premises, we have made arrangements to run comprehensive background checks on all students, staff and their immediate family members which includes medical and travel history since the beginning of the year 2020 says Dr. Chandrakanta R. Pathak, Principal & CEO, HVB Global Academy, Mumbai in a conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives in one way or another and it is suggested that an effective covid-19 vaccine might take yet another year to develop. Given the critical role education plays in the cognitive and affective development of young students, we must make meaningful effort into devising strategies as to how we might resume school operations before the vaccine becomes available without compromising the safety of our students. Considering what we now know about how the virus spreads, it seems that the best course of action would be to adopt a set of rigorous measures that would effectively prevent the spread of the virus among students and staff when they are in transit between their residence and school and when they are within the school premises.

To this end, we have devised a two-pronged plan aimed at: a) preventing the contagion from entering the school premises, and b) preventing the spread of the contagion through personto-person and surface-to-person mechanisms within the school premises.

Also read: Post covid-19 a new normal at Manipal International School

To prevent the virus from entering school premises, we have made arrangements to run comprehensive background checks on all students, staff and their immediate family members which includes medical and travel history since the beginning of the year 2020. Background checks have been made mandatory for all individuals who wish to gain admission to school premises. We have made provisions to ensure thorough sanitization of school buses before and after they pick and drop students. At the school’s main entrance gate, we have installed touchless sanitation devices to sanitize hands, shoes and bags, and also a temperature sensor that measures and records the body temperature of every individual who enters the campus.

We have also suspended all activities requiring face-to-face interaction with individuals not affiliated with school. Such activities are to be held virtually.

To prevent the contagion from spreading within the school premises, we have adopted a set of rigorous measures which includes social distancing norms and regular sanitation which all individuals within the school premises are required to observe. We have installed hand sanitizers in all classrooms, outside of washrooms and elevators.

All classrooms and desks will be cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis. We have designed orientation programmes for our entire janitorial and security staff to train them in safety operation procedures and social distancing norms. In addition, we have appointed a committee of teachers that will monitor all activities and ensure that the approved safety operating procedures are being implemented throughout the school premises. In order to allow students and staff sufficient time to adapt to the new normal, we will resume the regular school session in five phases distributed evenly over five weeks. In phase 1, the school will reopen for staff to allow them time to make the necessary arrangements and ensure that school is ready to operate under the new normal.

We will carry out a thorough examination of our facilities and assess the situation at the end of every school day and plan for the following day accordingly. We have also put contingencies in place to ensure continuation of learners’ education without disruption.

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