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COVID-19: Resetting Safety Standards in Schools

Safe Schools

Over 27 million people have been infected, and over 800 thousand people have lost their lives, since the emergence of COVID-19.

Lives have been affected tremendously and adjusting to the new normal has been difficult. Education is not left out, since the widespread of the virus, Schools have been shut down across the world.

In this regard, educational institutions have had to resort to alternative means such as blended learning and digital learning to keep their students learning. This has not been an easy feat as it is new territory for most.

There have been many challenges, with the most common being lack of internet access. More than 9 million children in the world don’t have access to the internet at home for so online learning is near-impossible for them.

Many also have poor or erratic electricity supply and have struggled to participate in digital learning.

So it is with great joy that many are finally returning to school. A welcome development since we have to learn to live with COVID. Despite the plans and joys of reopening, many are still doubtful of their guaranteed safety with parents expressing fear and uncertainty about sending their kids back, because of the risks involved.

We know that schools can reopen and function safely as long as safety measures are put in place. We also know that safety requirements have changed quite a bit thanks to the need to ensure our schools can meet the demands of staying safe.

Hence as the leading provider of school safety services in Nigeria, we at Safe Schools, hosted a 7-day webinar series titled Resetting Safety Standards in Schools during COVID-19. The series is guaranteed to help make your reopening plan SAFE and many have testified to how helpful the series was.

Have a look at some of the feedback we got.

“Today’s session was fantastic. About the best session I have attended on COVID-19. Thank you”  Olusola D

“Thank you so much for free training you have given. I am encouraged by all the presentations. That of John Flynn is also highly encouraging removing fears for us to resume”   Florence C

“I was part of today’s training and it was great. You always nail it, spot on and straight to the point”   Diseye O

Listed below are the speakers in the series,  their topics, and brief summaries of what they shared on.

  1. Professor Ike– Resetting Safety Standards to meet the demands of COVID-19

The Focus in this session was on 3 key areas. They 3 areas were: The 4 demands of COVID-19, How to meet the demands, and how to reach, exceed and maintain compliance.

The four demands of COVID-19 were listed as follows:

  • CLEAN– How often do you and should you now clean?
  • SECURE– Are you Safe? COVID-19 should not take away key safety & security measures.
  • SAFE– If assessed against them, what would be your compliance level?
  • SOUND– People want assurance, families staff, children, visitors and surely the government. Peace of mind , wellness and mental health measures are needed now and going forward.

How can schools meet these demands?

  • COVID-19 risk assessment – It is very essential that schools carry out COVID-19 school-specific risk assessment. To identify infection route; identify who could be harmed, how and why; Identify risk level and introduce control or mitigation measures and any additional measures
  • COVID-19 guidance or policy – A guidance document on COVID-19 should be developed after a school has been assessed for risks. The guidance should cover guidelines for ALL processes in the school.
  • Implementation, training & information– Through Implementation of safety measures in the guidance document. As well as training and information needed to carry out the safety measures.
  • Monitoring & Surveillance – Through monitoring and surveying processes to ensure compliance with safety measures

How can schools reach, exceed and maintain compliance?

  • Get started with the above mentioned
  • Hire a competent Safety Consultant
  • Get trained to manage safety competently in your school
  • Get SAFE SCHOOLS School Safety Compliance Kit.

2. Julie Mogbo – Establishing & Strengthening Collaborative Systems for Healthier Schools

Collaborative systems for healthier schools involves assuming roles, cooperatively working together, and sharing responsibilities for safety. Collaboration is a working practice whereby individuals work together with a common purpose to achieve business benefit.

Ms Mogbo shared the two kinds of collaborations there are, and the categories that fall under them.

In-school Collaboration

  • School Administrator
  • Safety manager/team
  • Teaching and non-teaching staff
  • Students
  • Healthcare team
  • School counselor

External Collaboration

  • Primary Healthcare Centre
  • Social welfare
  • Security agencies
  • Funding organizations
  • Policy makers
  • Religious institutions

In this case, It’s all about creating a new path based on the skills, intellect and resilience of a collective order to bring about sustainable development in context of health, safety and environment of a school

Ms. Mogbo described the Collaborative System as follows:

  • Governance Structure
  • Financing Plan
  • Cross-sector intervention
  • Information Management Strategy
  • Performance Measurement and Evaluation

3. Dare Akinfosile – First Aid for schools in COVID-19

First aid is the initial care given to a casualty before qualified (medical) help is reached. Aims of first aid are: To safe life, to prevent a condition from becoming worse and to promote quick recovery

Clearly a lot has changed in the world of emergency response and First Aid. It is ideal to assume every situation as potentially infectious.

Mr Dare shared practical steps and helpful advise on carrying out First Aid during COVID-19 on adults and children. Did you know that you can no longer give breath  during CPR?

4. Dare Adebayo – Optimizing your School via Automation

To optimize means to make as effective, perfect or make useful as possible. In other words, to get the best of. Optimization involves constantly pursuing excellence: making sure that what your school does is fit for purpose, and not only stays that way, but keeps moving.

Automation is the process of completing repeating and mundane tasks using technology, resulting in faster and more accurate outcomes.The work is carried out by  using minimal human intervention, which means that it is a combined effort between machines and humans. Automation in education helps stakeholders to minimize manual effort, creating more efficiency

Automation will help your school- Collect data, Engage every stakeholder, Measure and analyze.

Processes that can be Automated:

  • Enrollment
  • Attendance
  • Assessment
  • Communication
  • Grading/Results
  • Online Assignments
  • Video Sharing
  • Class Notes
  • Remote Classes/Meetings
  • Lesson plan
  • Health & Safety Management

5. Continuity Planning: Keeping your School thriving in a pandemic

The guest spoke about continuity for businesses and shared ideas on how to plan for unforeseen events such as pandemics. This session will make you look within and think beyond COVID-19.

He shared a Business Continuity Management Plan for a Pandemic and other matters that can interrupt business into six sections:

  • Prepare for a Business Impact
  • Prepare for the Staff and Client/Customer impact
  • Pandemic Contingency Policies
  • Resource Availability during Pandemic
  • Communication and Education of Staff
  • Liaise with appropriate organizations.

He ended by saying “If the Pandemic hits, it’s too late to plan!”

6. Dapo Taiwo- Government’s Plans & Requirements for Reopening Schools Safely

It is very important to ensure the measures we take and carry out as schools are in line with legal requirements.

Why reopen schools now?

  • We are better informed on prevention and control measures
  • Low risk of children becoming severely ill from the virus
  • Schools provide social protection, nutrition and health service to many
  • Out of school is loss of education

Mr Dapo stated the Actions by the government so far as:

  • July 2020, first guide for the safe reopening of schools released
  • Commencement of implementation of guidelines by schools
  • Training of school staff on implementing safety protocols
  • August 2020:,Resumption of graduating classes and TEC3 students
  • September 2029: Primary, Secondary and Tertiary opens

He stated that preparing Schools for Reopening involves all of the following :

Facilities & Premises

  1. Disinfecting & Fumigation school premises
  2. Provision of hand washing facilities and hand sanitizers
  3. Reorganizing spaces to promote social distancing
  4. Body temperature check
  5. Develop protocol for isolation
  6. Provision of isolation rooms

People

  1. Provide training on policies and procedures on COVID-19
  2. Safety protocols go mitigate the spread of the virus
  3. School reopening scheduled
  4. Updated Policies & Practices (daily screening)

Controlled Access & Activities

  1. School Premises/Facilities
  2. Access to transportation
  3. Alternative learning models

Monitoring Post Resumption

Monitoring must be as thorough as the planning and will include Enforcement by Lagos State Safety Commission.

Mr Dapo also provided the official link for Lagos state COVID guidance. This guidance is included in our COVID-19 Poster Pack downloadable at here.

7. Funmi Adegbola – What about Mental Health? Getting your school ready for the task ahead.

Ms. Adegbola described  mental health as cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. It’s is all about how people think, feel, and behave. People sometimes use the term “mental health” to mean the absence of mental disorder

This session focused on how to ensure that your staff and learners are supported during these uncertain and worrying times. This is to ensure that their mental health is protected while trying to adapt to the new and emerging world of education

Are schools ready?

The Readiness Test

  • Risk Assessment
  • Fitness to work
  • Training
  • Pastoral Care ( Internal/External)
  • Engage Parents
  • Teamwork

The feedback has been great, with reviews on how we’ve helped remove the fear to resume in school owners/heads.

You don’t have to miss out!

Replays of the recordings are available for a small fee of £29 (N15,000). Please CLICK THIS LINK to pay now.

Did you know we have the COVID-19 compliance kit and COVID-19 Poster Pack?

  1. In the compliance kit is everything you need to manage your school, staff, and learners safely during COVID-19. Find out more about the kit by clicking this this link.
  2. The COVID-19 poster pack comes with 16 posters designed to help with visual information and instructions available to you for FREE. We also added the safety assessment checklist from Lagos State as well as Guidance for reopening from the Federal Government of Nigeria, to ensure you have only the right information.

All you have to do is download, print, and start posting up right away. We also included a banner you can print and hang up at your school’s gate.

Download the COVID-19 Poster Pack.

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