The past two years is witnessing a sea of new challenges. Since March 2020, the world has been struggling to adapt to COVID-19, a dangerous novel virus still a threat to many. Most of the countries are facing distinctive lockdown restrictions. But some countries slowly begin to loosen the barrier, which means schools are expected to open by following government instructions.
The first day of school is often marked by anxiety and excitement from teachers, parents, and students, as they look forward to the challenges and success, they will face during the school year.
Before coming to challenges faced by school authority during this period, let’s first get to know when is school re-opening amid pandemic?
Re-opening of schools- when, where, and how?
It’s been two months since schools closed in more than 190 countries, affecting 1.57 billion children and youth – 90% of students worldwide. The closure occurred in rapid succession as a measure of the Covid-19 situation.
- When and how the schools are re-opening, is one of the most difficult and critical decisions for political purposes today.
- According to UNESCO data, 100 countries have not yet announced a school opening date, 65 have partial or full opening plans, while 32 will end the academic year online.
- Countries are at different stages in terms of how and when they plan to open schools. These decisions are usually made by national or state governments, often with local authorities. In deciding to open schools, the authorities must consider the benefits and risks of all education, social and socio-economic activities.
So, are you concerned how the classroom look like during this pandemic? What are the safety protocols that play out for students and teacher’s staff by respective countries?
Some schools are tasking risk with precautions, even though there are growing cases in some countries. Schools are warned to take necessary precautions for safety- wearing a mask, washing hands, checking the temperature, and keeping children in public blankets.
How schools are being opened worldwide during the coronavirus epidemic?
A- Face masks, to some extent
Covering the face is a common occurrence as schoolchildren return to their desks. China has been opening schools for the past few weeks, from Hubei to Chongqing to Guangdong. In every region, students and teachers are asked to wear masks on their faces (with few exceptional areas- such as in a gym or lunch).
B- Social distancing and internal segregation
How do you force social isolation into crowded classrooms and during breaks?
- One way is for students to have a set amount of time to reduce study capacity and passage. New South Wales, Australia largest state, opened schools on Monday, with students going one day a week and other days studying at home.
- Another solution is to move the classes out. In Denmark, which began opening schools in mid-April, classes were held outside, as in parks, as the best possible way.
- Some schools enforce social distancing in ways such as plastic segregation during lunch.
C- Temperature testing and screening
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends daily temperature tests for students as part of the COVID-19 public health measures. In some countries, students and staff enter the school with temperature screenings. If they are diagnosed positive, they stay at home for two weeks; if it is found negative, wear a green sticker.
Schools facing many challenges
The reopening of schools, even with phased regulations and protocols poses multiple challenges for school management during the pandemic.
Some of the challenges faced by school management are;
- The pandemic has caused divisions between parents and schools over the payment of fees, has created animosity among some parents who are not ready to submit fees.
- It will be difficult for teachers to become accustomed to wearing masks while teaching and forcing social distance during class. At the same time, they will have to continue with the difficulties of online teaching, preparing online resources, and keeping student records online.
- students also face difficulties, who stayed at a home long time, it will take longer for them to return to a normal learning environment or to adapt to changes made at school.
- With the limited number of students are allowed to sit in each classroom, arranging more classrooms, bringing in more teachers, making accommodation arrangements, housing maintenance and all other things will be a burden on schools.
- In addition, the dual responsibility of managing online classes for students who continue to study at home and care for students coming to school will place a heavy burden on teachers. With these responsibilities, the teacher finds it difficult to do his best to serve the students.
Concerns of parents and their opinions for school going students during Covid-19
Concern 1- I am so worried because we live in a joint family and there are many elder members, who are at a high risk of getting the infection. That’s the concern. I don’t want the adults in the house to pick up something because the child has gone to school, says Antoine a specialist at Duke University who provides Essay Writing Help to students.
Opinions- Online Tests were held and school administrators and teachers did an amazing job in providing online educations to students. Of course, students miss their friends but, this is a small sacrifice when you look at the bigger picture. It makes sense to wait for the situation to improve.
Concern 2- It’s impossible to expect 15- and 17-year-olds to maintain social distancing, especially after school closures for so long, I have seen even in my school, which is safe, a few teachers come from outside. No matter how much you sanitize or maintain social distancing, children are still at high risk of getting infected by a virus, shares Rebecca an educator who gives assignment help/ essay help to students online.
Opinions- He feels that as long as there is no policy, schools should remain closed; whether this reaches a full academic year or even two, it makes no difference over time. The first and foremost priority is to keep the children safe by seeing the rise in cases.
Concern 3- People like me in the navy live are less at risk. But for outsiders, the risks are high. I lost one of my closest teachers due to COVID-19 recently., Says Peterson, who is a marine engineer, who also provides essay writing services to online university students.
Opinions- The department of education should carefully consider the methods and procedures for conducting online board exams and make arrangements for all students to write these exams online.
Concern 4- I recently lost two family members and now notice has been issued about the reopening of schools amid this epidemic. I am afraid to send my child to school in such a difficult situation, notes Caroline an experienced professor who provides online assignment help to students through many essay writing service providers.
Opinions– As I feel my son is prone to depression by staying at home and perhaps going back to school is the right choice for him. And you guessed it right. My daughter Anabelle, a Grade 9 student, says she would like to go to school when it reopens because she hasn’t seen her teachers and friends for months.
Concern 5- I will not send my daughter to school voluntarily because there is no point. If school starts full-time, I would love to send it. There will be safety precautions and a general routine when they return to school. But how can someone say that risk is not there. There are risks for children to get affected, says Andrew teacher at Florida University and gives Essay help to students online through Essay writing services.
Opinion- The best form of education for students is online learning. Students can interact with their professors and teachers online. I understand that students may want to connect with people and their friends and teachers but as a parent, I suggest that schools must not open in these difficult times if students benefit from online courses.
The reopening of the School for the Restoration of Student Welfare – Front Road
1-Why are schools re-opening?
Although they have better protection against COVID-19, children have been deprived of a good learning environment, which can only happen at school. This situation is not as shocking as it was 17 months ago. Now, health care and public administration are better equipped to deal with potential challenges. Schools must be reopened without any delay for student development.
So, the most debatable topic at present is that, do young children go back to class first, or do older ones?
2-Who is first returning to school- young or adult?
UNICEF works in partnership with governments and schools to keep students, especially the most disadvantaged ones to give proper education. their main focus is not just opening a school but to open better school.
As education ministry has decided to bring an adult to the school first and they are allowed to meet their teachers or professors in school voluntarily.
However, if some countries decide to bring younger students first, they won’t be interfered with by any.
3-What is the government stand on attendance in schools during covid-19?
In the 2021 to 2022 academic year, schools continue to record the attendance when a student does not attend COVID-related situations-
a) Expectations for attendance
School attendance is a must. The general rules of attendance continue to apply, including:
- Parents must ensure their child gets daily attendance if registered with the college.
- Obligations for recording schools to attend and track absent students.
- it is the responsibility of the local authorities to make arrangements to identify, and track down, children who are missing out on education
b) Non-attendance at COVID-19-related conditions
- Students with symptoms of COVID-19, or who have been tested positive can isolate themselves, and stay safe at home. In such situations, the government allows students, to take online classes at home. Students will not be forced to attend school classes.
- Code X rule will be applied till you are under isolation and suffering from a covid-19 infection.
- If a student is tested negative and feels healthy, they may stop isolating and go back to school. If the student remains unwell following the test (such as a separate illness), they should get recorded as code I (illness). Code X only be used until the time of the negative test results.
4- What will school life be like for students in the middle of Covid-19?
- If there is high enrolment, schools may consider running their classes into two shifts by reducing school hours per shift. So, a school can manage the same teacher throughout the school working hour.
- If you are in school, wearing masks will be compulsory for students, teachers, and staff. All students will have to follow a strict hand-washing procedure and be six feet away from the other student.
- Following the reopening of the schools, UNICEF distributed 6,195 handguns, 72,725 soap bars, and 801 thermometers between 417 schools and 290,772 students in six provinces.
- Schools ensure that all necessary safety precautions are taken, including physical separation and additional hygiene and awareness measures. students go to school on a rotational shift – they spend half a week at school and the rest of the time at home using the online learning method.
- UNICEF has supported the Department of Education to develop a response program for COVID-19 and to participate in a back-to-school campaign aimed at parents, teachers, and students. As part of the campaign, posters were sent to all schools in the country, as well as messages to digital and traditional media outlets.
- Among the surveillance conducted by the Department of Health are regular hand washing and the wearing of masks for teachers and children over 11 years of age. Teachers are also encouraged to reduce the number of students at each table.
- Government in promoting safe work conditions in schools, promoting hygiene practices, and endangering health, nutrition, education, child protection, social policy, and communication.
5- How can constructive assessment enhance learning as schools reopen?
- In Papua, Indonesia, UNICEF programs focus on improving first-grade learning, using constructive assessment to adapt teaching to the needs of children. This represents a 12 percent increase in reading comprehension and a 36 percent decrease in the n0n-readers rate.
- In Ethiopia, UNICEF’s Assessment for Learning has developed teachers’ knowledge of continuous assessment, leading them to revitalize their teaching: after which they spend more time assessing students diligently, rather than contradicting teaching, class management, or non-learning activities. Class views highlighted the best use of continuous assessment. Communication between teachers and parents increased. In the end, it has had a tremendous impact on mother-tongue learning and Mathematics.
- In Afghanistan, a creative approach to constructive assessment involved children using hand signals to answer teachers’ questions. This is promising, especially in resource-intensive contexts where some form of constructive assessment may not be possible.
- assessment in the form of, drawing lessons, class questions, puzzles, and games, booklet design, presentations, journals, portfolios, etc., can be preferred to standard paper tests.
Click here to know more about the advantages of constructive assessment during covid-19.
A few statistics to take note of:
1-Which students are left behind?
Statistics of the students who cannot be reached out for help
According to UNICEF
- Globally, at least 31 percent of students from pre-primary to high school are inaccessible due to a lack of policies that support digital literacy and remote broadcasting.
- At least 49 percent, East and South Africa have a very small proportion of students who cannot be reached through the digital medium.
- Latin America and the Caribbean have a very low proportion of undocumented students – 9 percent – but again, this does not mean to conclude that 91% of students were reached.
- overall, three out of four students who cannot be reached through digital platforms live in rural areas, low-income countries the percentage is much higher.
2-The closure of schools around the world hit girls hard
- Of the total number of students enrolled in education worldwide, estimates that more than 89% currently do not drop out of school due to the closure of COVID-19. This represents 1.54 billion children and youth enrolled in schools or universities, including approximately 743 million girls.
- More than 111 million of these girls live in less developed countries where access to education is already a struggle. These are conditions of extreme poverty, economic vulnerability, and problems where gender inequality in education is very high. In Mali, Niger, and South Sudan – 3 countries with the lowest enrolment rates and girls’ graduation rates – closures have forced more than 4 million girls to drop out of school.
- We are just beginning to understand the economic implications of COVID-19, but it is expected to be widespread and devastating, especially for women and girls.
- Although many girls will continue their education once the school gates are opened, some will never return to school. Educational responses should prioritize the needs of young girls at risk of turning 20 years of profits for girls’ education.
impact of covid-19 on girls or women educationSource
How Schools prepared themselves for COVID-19?
Within a few weeks in March and April 2020, almost all schools in the United States had to work out their grades. Some distribute thick packets for homework so that students can do it on their own. Others have delivered laptops and mobile hot spots.
To better understand how schools adapted to life under COVID, researchers turned to a unique expert panel, The panel provides principals who participate in periodic research on school affairs.
Researchers have asked about 1000 school principals about what they have planned for the betterment of students.
The below graph will show you the percentage of their efforts in different fields.
Preparatory Leading Levels Before the COVID-19 Epidemic
Larger schools had more opportunities than smaller schools to take precautionary measures before they escalated, such as training teachers to deliver online education. Middle and high schools were better prepared than elementary schools. And schools with high numbers of students receiving free or reduced lunch, poverty mark, prepared, or unprepared, like schools with low prices.
The results point to the short-term need for better planning in schools – and the potential difference in the lives of millions of students.
Jake Thomson is a contributing writer to LiveWebTutors. He is a podcaster, style coach and has been a blogger and a professional blogger writing about educational skills, personal development and motivation since 2010. He has her own blogging website and well-established blog.