The ministries of education, science and health, together with the Chief Sanitary Inspector, prepared guidelines for schools. They are to ensure that in the new school year, in the conditions of the ongoing epidemic, children and adolescents can learn stationary in safe conditions. Schools have less than a month to comply with government guidelines.
On September 1, education in schools and kindergartens is to begin on a full-time basis. Such assurances are made by representatives of the authorities. Last Friday, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski informed: – The most likely scenario is that we return to school normally. The infection does not seem to have accelerated so far by the end of August that we would have to change this decision.
On the same day, Deputy Minister of Education Marzena Machałek announced that on Monday we will learn new sanitary guidelines for schools, and as part of cooperation with the Government Strategic Reserves Agency security measures will be purchased for at least PLN 100 million. On Monday afternoon, August 2, the guidelines developed by MEIN in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and GIS were published on the web.
Guidelines to keep it safe
The guidelines were created to – as their authors argue – increase the safety of students and teachers. The document additionally emphasizes that after a long period of remote learning, activities in the field of health safety should be combined with care for the mental health of children and adolescents.
The general recommendations include information on disinfection, hygiene, ventilation, the use of protective masks and maintaining social distance. Vaccination against COVID-19 is also recommended for school workers and students in certain age groups. Detailed recommendations concern: organization of classes, hygiene, cleaning and disinfection of rooms and surfaces, gastronomy, and procedures in the event of suspected employee infection.
How to wash your hands and remove masks
The guidelines also contain references to: instructions on hand washing, disinfection, proper mask and gloves removal, as well as a list of biocidal products and recommendations for ventilation and air-conditioning systems.
The authors of the guidelines recommend, if possible, “limiting the use of public transport in favor of private vehicles, moving on foot and using individual means, while maintaining safety rules (bicycle, scooter)”.
At the entrance to the school building, information about the obligation to disinfect hands and instructions for using the disinfectant should be posted. “Everyone should be able to use the hand sanitizer and fill the dispensers regularly. It is recommended that students first wash their hands with soap and water when they come to school” – reads the recommendations.
The masks are to be provided by parents
What about the masks? In the case of secondary school students, it is recommended to use masks in the common space. The document also reads: “Parents are obliged to provide their children with masks for use in public spaces (in accordance with current law) and in the common school space, when distance cannot be kept”.
As it was in the previous school year: “If a school employee notices symptoms that may indicate a respiratory tract infection (in particular, temperature above 38 degrees Celsius, coughing, shortness of breath), the student should be isolated in a separate room or in a designated place, ensuring min. 2 m distance from other people, and immediately notify the parents / guardians of the need to urgently pick up the student from school (own means of transport recommended) “.
What will the lessons be like?
In classrooms where classes are conducted by different teachers, the authors of the guidelines recommend, among others:
– maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 m between the teacher’s table and students ‘desks, unless there is a partition at least 1 m high between the teacher’s table and students’ desks, measured from the table surface,
– leaving a free bench in the immediate vicinity of the teacher’s table,
– disinfecting the touch surface of the teacher’s desk before the start of classes,
– if possible, limit the teacher’s movement between students’ desks,
– if necessary, provide the teacher with masks, disposable gloves or hand disinfectants by the employer.
In addition, as in the last school year, frequent washing of hands, disinfecting surfaces, removing carpets is recommended.
Main photo source: TVN24