As September approaches, the decision whether to open schools or to keep teaching online is looming overhead. It appears most countries have chosen to reopen schools. Financially, it makes sense: having the children back in schools allows parents to return to their jobs, jump-starting the economy. However, health-wise, there are many risks: people fear children won’t adhere to strict hygiene protocols, that the schools’ limited structure won’t allow social distancing easily, and that the wellbeing of teachers and students alike will be compromised.
What can schools do to help make them safer?
Hire more teachers and divide classes into smaller groups
Hire more teachers and divide classes into smaller groups, allowing less people inside a confined space at any time. Less people in the class room lowers the chance of infection, and hedge the spread if an infection does occur. This also requires changing the school schedule slightly, to avoid unnecessary crowding at key points inside the school, like the hallway or the cafeteria.
Teaching the kids what is so important about facemasks, social distancing, and hand hygiene.
Although childhood is revered in modern times as an inherently different state than adulthood, most humans have a sense of preservation from relatively early on. It is essential to have kids and teens understand to the best of their abilities what it means to pass on the coronavirus or be sick themselves in order for them to actively follow the new regulations. Although people do tend to listen to authority, the education system is trying to create independent thinkers. That is why explaining the situation and the reason behind the measures schools are taking is a large part of the solution. Parents should be informed of the school’s efforts as well so that they can understand what their child will go through once school starts again.
Change school infrastructure
Schools should ensure their students and faculty members have free access to masks, rework the classroom space to enable social distancing, and provide a large number of hand washing stations to allow students and staff proper and frequent hand washing. Schools, as well as students, may find these changes difficult to adjust to at first, but they are necessary to create a safe and hygienic school environment.
Soapy offers a comprehensive solution for hand hygiene that can help schools with their efforts to maintain a clean environment. The ECO Hygiene Micro-Stations are easy to install, and can serve as additional washing stations within the school, without major structural changes, requiring only a water inlet and outlet, a regular electricity connection, and a local Wi-Fi network. Additionally, the station dispenses the precise amount of water and soap needed for every wash cycle – conserving up to 95% of water and eliminating water waste due to leaving taps open.
During the wash cycle, the micro-station collects wash quality data, and indicates to users how far along the cycle they are. The data dashboard provides deep insights on users’ hygiene trends, enabling teachers to keep an informed discussion with their students about their hand hygiene quality.
To learn more about the ECO Hygiene Micro-Station for your school, you can contact us here.