Schools urged to follow guidelines strictly

Syazwani Hj Rosli

More than 20,000 nursery and primary students are to return to school today for the second phase of de-escalation plan.

Health remains a priority among the students and school staff. The Ministry of Education (MoE) shared the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the reopening of primary schools.

Vulnerable students and those showing symptoms are advised to do home-based learning (HBL) five days a in a week. Parents are required to immediately take their child from school if they develop any symptoms while in school. Individual education plan (IEP) students can do one day Stay at School ([email protected]) and four days HBL, and remedial education plan (REP) students can do three days [email protected] and two days HBL.

Students are also recommended to wear face masks. They are advised to wash their hands often with soap or to use hand sanitisers after they cough or sneeze, before and after eating, after every toilet use and whenever their hands are unclean. Students are required to bring tissues or face towels, drinking water and hand sanitisers.

During breaktime, students are also encouraged to have their food in their classrooms.

Students are not allowed to share personal items or food with classmates, shake hands, hold or touch their friends’ hand, sit close to a friend or teacher, spit on the ground or floor, touch their face unnecessarily or go to school if they are unwell.

Parents are required to prepare the essential items for their children stated above and to give their children pocket money with exact change.

They are encouraged to remind their children of safety measures at school to their children and also to pick up and drop their children at the designated areas prepared by the school.

Parents should also be aware that only one adult per family is allowed to enter the school area to avoid crowding. They are also not encouraged to send their children to school or enter the school if they are unwell, or enter the school area unless they have an appointment and to provide small change for their children to school so as to minimise touching the change.

Teachers are advised to wear face masks while teaching and vulnerable teachers only come to school for their lesson while they should at all times frequently wash their hands and practise social distancing with students and colleagues.

Teachers are also not allowed to conduct student group activities, allow others to come close to them, allow students to share physical study materials unless it has been cleaned or allow students to sit less than one metre apart.

Canteen operators are required to wear face masks and gloves, observe cleanliness at all times such as washing their hands before handling food, clean the canteen area frequently, implement pre-ordering system and to sell food that costs BND1 and BND0.50 only.

There are several standard operating procedures that need to be considered for primary schools across the four districts. In ensuring social distancing, schools with small-sized classrooms are to use large spaces such as conference rooms, libraries, school halls and suraus. In minimising the number of students (BCP in classroom), schools can opt for a mixture of [email protected] and HBL where teachers can teach via video conferencing for students with Internet access at home, and those who do not can attend school.

Schools modifications also include temperature checks before entering the school area, placing hand sanitisers at strategic locations, seating at least one metre apart in classrooms, have modified timetable, staggered breaktime, home learning packs for all levels, classrooms to be cleaned at the end of the day, minimise students’ movement, mark walking paths to control student traffic, ensure sufficient ventilation in classrooms, conduct virtual meetings only, social distancing markers for queueing, to allow one student for a toilet at one time and others.