Find out what care families and schools should take when returning from face-to-face classes and how you can guide children.
After almost a year out of school, children and teenagers are returning to classroom lessons in different states of Brazil. The decision has been debated for months, given the risks and benefits of this move.
Education specialists have pointed out that children and young people, especially among the most vulnerable, experience socio-emotional and learning difficulties due to long periods of absence from school. On health, the experts are divided: some highlight scientific evidence about the safety of return with hygienic protocols and the low risk of infection in children. Others point to a greater likelihood of transmission with the increase in circulation of the school community, including teachers, staff and student families.
After several changes according to the pandemic scenario in each region of the country, in the month February The back to face-to-face lessons is becoming a reality for many families. For this to happen in a way that minimizes the risks, it is necessary for schools to prepare and also for families to accompany children in the necessary care.
We spoke to two health and education experts who shared important tips for returning to school safely. See below!
Preparing schools for back to school
Schools resuming face-to-face classes must take a number of measures to ensure the safety of students and staff. In the state of São Paulo, the rule is that students rotate, which makes it necessary to adapt schools to the mixed learningwhere part of the classroom attends the lessons in person and the rest via video, alternating the days of the week.
At Colégio Mary Ward in São Paulo, the return to face-to-face classes took place on February 1. Following the guidelines of the Departments of Education and Health, the school has introduced a rotation of students via the telephone number: one week only the odd numbers participate in person, while the even numbers take online classes, and the following week it is reversed. In Early Childhood Education, rotation was not necessary due to the small number of students per class, which promotes bonding between students and teachers and colleagues at this stage.
According to Cleonice Martini, the school’s education advisor, the school has installed internet cabling in all blocks and equipped the rooms for hybrid education, with computers, microphones, cameras and projectors.
In addition to the technological preparation, sanitary measures. Desks should be 2 meters apart and students should have access to alcohol gel for hand hygiene. It is important to ensure air circulation and keep windows open, even if rooms are air-conditioned.
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Do not share meetings or food during the break. Children should be instructed to keep their distance, especially if they don’t have a mask to eat their snack.
“We have counseled students and their families on the importance of not sharing items. We ask that you bring 2 bottles of water, wear a mask and bring some change,” says Cleonice.
Family guidelines for children
For everyone’s safety when returning to face-to-face classes, it is imperative that the entire school community be aware of the necessary care, and families have a major role in guiding children and young people in this.
Months after the start of the pandemic coronavirusmost students are already used to wearing masks and social distancing, but it is important to reinforce this concern for children so that the excitement of seeing friends does not make them forget in the end.
When organizing school supplies, it is a good idea to check the backpack the night before that all necessary items are in the backpack: mask to exchange, bag to store the used mask, water bottle and other individual materials.
According to Eduardo Santana, a nurse at Hospital Vera Cruz in Campinas (SP), in addition to using masks, it is important to guide children in removing them without contaminating themselves and to store them in a way that they do not have contact with other objects. Always remember to wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds and use gel alcohol more often to sanitize them.
“It’s important to have alcohol gel applied to other exposed areas as well, such as the wrist and arms, especially when you return from the break,” explains Eduardo.
Main precautions to return to face-to-face classes:
How about a checklist? These are the most important habits that should be part of the school routine and that should be reinforced in children when they return to personal classes:
- Wearing a mask, carrying a spare mask and storing dirty masks in a suitable place.
- Constant hand hygiene, washing with soap and rubbing alcohol gel.
- Keep your distance between desks and in other areas, including in the alcove.
- Do not share materials or food, bring your own water bottle and snacks.
- Do not go to school if there are suspicious symptoms or if you have been in contact with an infected person.
Working together between school, families and students, back to school will be safer and everyone will be able to enjoy the benefits of this long-awaited return.
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