Parents, teachers, and school administrators are very happy that it’s resumption. It’s very nice to hear also that the children love returning to school.
It is however compulsory for everyone to remain happy in the light of keeping the children safe. Here are a few guidelines for stakeholders in the education sector to help the champs stay safe.
Back to school safety tips
Here are some ground rules for safety as the new academic year begins.
Know basic contact information in case of emergency
All children should know their names, their parents’ names, phone numbers and other basic information in case of emergency.
Know children’s medical history
As the academic year begins, schools should encourage parents to report to the school about the medical history of each child, especially when such health conditions might affect their participation in some school activities or when they are communicable diseases. Such medical issues should however be confidential.
Develop a safety plan
All the stakeholders should develop a safety plan and constantly review such policies especially when a new facility is installed in the school or as population grows within the academic year. These safety procedures should be diligently followed by all parties.
All staff should be vigilant. There is however a need to assign an official to monitor the children on the playground or in any other co-curricular activity.
Appoint a safety professional
The school should appoint a person possessing a valid safety and first aid certificate to react in an emergency. Nevertheless, all staff and students should be taught basic first aid and safety of relevant competence levels.
Prepare for emergencies
There should be contingency measures and relevant arrangements for emergency situations like adverse weather conditions, disasters and crises; with well spelt procedures and routes of evacuation.
Display the layout plan of the school
The layout plan of the whole school, showing the location of emergency exits, the first aid room, the parking space for emergency vehicles, the firewall, the muster (fire assembly) point and other necessary safe havens should be made known to all, with charts placed at strategic locations in the premises.
Regularly inspect facilities
There is need for a thorough and regular inspection of materials, equipment, facilities and children’s items.
The use of such faulty or unsafe school facility should be halted. Also, dangerous items like drugs, matches, petrochemicals, guns, knives, blades, harsh chemicals, cigarettes, fireworks and lighters should be banned. Defaulters should also be punished.
Bar illicit behaviour
Bullying, stealing, harassment, humiliation, discrimination or other illicit behaviour of any kind should be barred in the school.
Signage like posters, directions (arrows) and bulletin boards should be handy wherever needed to indicate designation of each room/hall, dangerous locations like boreholes, wells, or construction sites. These may also reflect safety procedures, emergency numbers and procedures.
Keep students away from hazardous equipment
Hazardous equipment such as laboratory apparatus, technical workshop tools, paints, fire, and gas cylinders should not be used by students. If unavoidable, supervise students when they are using such.
Ensure proper housekeeping
Arrange all tools, furniture and raw materials in safe places, secure from unnecessary access such that there is more space for other things and for easy movement.
This is most necessary for the safety the students considering that love to play in even unthinkable places and with anything. As earlier said unsafe places should be under lock.
Emphasis should be laid on the hygiene of everyone.
The type of food sold and the cleanliness of the vendors needs to be scrutinised.
All classrooms, hostels, restrooms and the whole school should be sanitised.
Hand washing with appropriate antiseptics is also paramount as it also stems the spread of germs
Protect staff welfare
The welfare of school employees should not be neglected because they tend to vent their anger on the children.
At least one competent counsellor should be employed to help reduce the stress and worries of both school staff and children.
Children should be endeared to approach an adult in the school if they have some worries in their studies, family and daily life.