UNICEF sets precautions for teachers and learners as schools reopen during COVID-19 pandemic

United Nations Children’s Fund, a United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide, has given more health tips for learners and teachers to follow during school time to prevent the spread of covid-19.

On social distancing, UNICEF in article published on its web site, recommended increasing number of teachers if possible, to reduce the number of learners per class, conducting lessons in well ventilated rooms with desks placed at-least one-meter apart to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. 

“Limit the mixing of classes for school and after-school activities. For example, students in a class will stay in one classroom throughout the day, while teachers move between classrooms; or classes could use different entrances, if available, or establish an order for each class to enter and leave the building/classroom,”  UNICEF said.

The UN agency advised school administrators to be flexible with timetable to avoid teachers and learners coming together at once.

The health advisories told teachers to encourage learners to wear masks, wash their hand regularly and make other personal hygiene practices a habit.

“Encourage students to get into the practice of regularly washing their hands and/or applying hand sanitizers at key moments, such as entering and leaving the classroom; touching surfaces, learning materials, books, and after using a tissue to blow their nose,” it said

The virus is transmitted from one person to another through droplets from an infected person’s nose or mouth.

UNICEF said everyone coming to school should have their temperature checked at the entrance to identify sick people.

Teachers are advised to provide accurate information about the coronavirus from World Health Organization and UNICEF to students

“As a teacher, knowing the facts will not only protect yourself but also your students. Be aware of fake information and dangerous myths about COVID-19 circulating that are feeding fear and stigma,” UNICEF noted.

On Friday, South Sudan council of ministers approved the reopening of schools all over the country after six months of closure.

Assessing schools in Juba last week, the deputy minister of General education, Martin Tako, said any school that does meet the standard operation procedures will not be allowed to operate.The date students will go back to schools is yet to be announced.

As of Friday, the country had 2,568 cumulative cases with 48 deaths, according to data filed by World Health Organization.